Permanent ban on hookah bars in Punjab

Punjab government has decided to impose a permanent ban on hookah bars in the state instead of issuing temporary orders against them every two months. The decision was taken by the council of minister at a meeting held on Monday. The proposed amendment will be placed before the assembly and, once passed by the House, will be reserved for the President’s assent.

To enable the ban, amendments will be made to the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, for the prevention and control of diseases caused by the use of tobacco products.

At present, Section 144 of CrPC is promulgated against hookah bars in all districts of the states for two months, with extension required at the end of the period. The extension orders are issued every two months by the district administration, providing a temporary solution to the menace of hookah bars, which encourage use of tobacco among youngsters, leading to potential health hazards.

The move is aimed at reducing the trend of hookah/ hookah bars, besides use of tobacco in various forms amongst youngsters. Earlier, the government used to issue temporary orders against such establishments and renew them after every two months. In December 2015, the Gujarat government banned hookah bars running across the state and warned of stringent punishment if the orders are defied.

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