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Karnataka set to ban hookah bars, cigarette sale to those below 21

Karnataka set to ban hookah bars, cigarette sale to those below 21

Mangalore Today News Network

Bengaluru, Feb 22, 2024: The Karnataka government on Wednesday passed a Bill to ban hookah bars across the state, with stringent penalties, including imprisonment ranging from one to three years and fines reaching up to Rs 1 lakh for those found guilty of violating the prohibition.


Hookah Bar

According to the notification, the ban has been imposed after amending the existing Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) in order to safeguard the health of its citizens and stem the tide of tobacco-related diseases.

Additionally, the state has also prohibited the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to those below 21 years of age.

The amended Bill also enforces a blanket ban on the use of tobacco products in public places, emphasising the commitment to creating smoke-free environments.

The Siddaramaiah-led government has also imposed a ban on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within a radius of 100 meters of any educational institution. Violation of the rule might attack a fine of Rs 1,000.

"It is a decision that the government has taken. There are a lot of youngsters, in their teens, who are found in these places. The government, in the interest of health and law and order, have taken this decision," Karnataka minister and Congress leader Priyank Kharge said while speaking about the govervment’s decision to ban hookah bars.

The action by Karnataka government comes on the backdrop of ’alarming data’ shared by WHO Global Adult Tobacco Survey-2016-17 (GATS-2), which claimed that 22.8 per cent of adults in Karnataka use tobacco, with 8.8 per cent being smokers.

The report also stated that as much as 23.9 per cent of adults in the state are passive smokers (those who breathe in smoke breathed out by people who smoke or from burning tobacco products).

In February 2024, Telangana government passed a similar bill banning all hookah parlours across the state.

Even Haryana, last year, announced a ban on serving hookah to customers in hotels, restaurants, bars and commercial establishments across the state.

Courtesy: India Today

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