The Karnataka government has banned hookah bars and sale of hookah products in the state with immediate effect on Wednesday, February 7. The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Karnataka, has released a gazette notification in this regard banning the sale, consumption, storage, advertisement and promotion of all types of hookah products.
The ban has been issued under the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), Child Protection and Welfare Act, Food Safety and Standards Act, and Karnataka Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules, 2015.
The notification said, "In the larger interest of the public, sale, consumption, storage, advertisement and promotion of hookah and products containing tobacco or nicotine, non-tobacco and non-nicotine hookah, flavoured hookah, molasses, sheesha (hookah water pipe) and other related products are prohibited." The notification further added that in case of violation, the act would be initiated as per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). Karnataka Health Minister, Dinesh Gundu Rao, had recently hinted at imposing a ban on hookah bars operating in cities, especially in Bengaluru.