Hookahs will no longer be served in dining areas: Govt

Hookahs will also have to be served in designated smoking room, where food or drinks would not be available, according to the new government notification


There have been complaints of restaurants and hotels serving hookahs inside the dining areas, calling them ‘herbal’ or ‘flavoured’ with no nicotine. ((HT Photo))

    It is a myth that hookah causes less harm than cigarette or bidi. In fact the smoke goes directly inside your lungs. All risks associated with cigarette or bidi also apply to hookah,” says Dr Vikas Maurya, head of pulmonology, Fortis, Shalimar Bagh.

    Amendments were made to rule 4 (sub-rule 3) of the prohibition of smoking rules under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act.

    “No Service shall be allowed in any smoking area or space provided for Smoking,” reads the notification.

    “The owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or in charge of the affairs of the hotel restaurant or airport, shall display a board at the entrance of the smoking area or spaces of minimum size of 60 x 30 cms with a white background and having the message in English and one Indian language as applicable in black colour that –“Tobacco Smoking is Harmful To Your Health and The Health of Non-Smokers” and “Entry of Person Below The Age of Eighteen Years Is Prohibited.”

    The law permits smoking in airports, hotels having more than 30 rooms, restaurants having a seating capacity of more than 30 and other enclosed places that have designated smoking areas or spaces.

    For this a smoking zone has to be set up which should be physically separated and surrounded by full-height walls; should have a system that lets the smoke go directly outside; should have an entrance with automatically closing doors; should not be used for other purposes like serving food, beverage or other services.

    Tobacco related diseases kill about 10 lakh Indians each year. An estimated 5500 youth and children initiate tobacco use daily that underlines the importance of measures needed to curb tobacco use in the country.


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