Karnataka

Drive against hookah bars in Mysuru

Earlier this week, a team comprising officials from Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), Mysuru City Police, Education and Health Departments began closing hookah bars for allegedly violating provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003.

Earlier this week, a team comprising officials from Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), Mysuru City Police, Education and Health Departments began closing hookah bars for allegedly violating provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003.

The Mysuru district Tobacco Control Cell has launched a drive against hookah bars in the city.

Earlier this week, a team comprising officials from Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), Mysuru City Police, Education and Health Departments began closing hookah bars for allegedly violating provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003.

“A hookah bar on HUDCO Main Road, close to JSS Medical College in Bannimantap, was closed on January 17. We will carry out the drive across Mysuru police station-wise, and close down hookah bars,” said an official of the Cell.

Cases were booked under Sections 4 and 6b of COTPA against the owner of the hookah bar in Bannimantap. While eight students, including a minor, were let off with a warning, the owner of the café was penalised ₹3,500.

“We can also book patrons under COTPA. In case they are minors, they will be booked under Juvenile Justice Act. But, we let them off,” said an official of the Cell, which co-ordinated the raid.

The Cell will continue its drive in all the 18 police station limits in Mysuru in the coming days and ensure that all hookah bars in the city are closed. Apart from targeting hookah bars, the Cell will also ensure that no tobacco products are sold within a radius of 100 metres of an educational institution as per Section 6 B of the COTPA.

The Mysuru district Tobacco Control Cell is also expected to crack down on hookah bars in Vontikoppal, Jayalakshmipuram, near Chamundi Hills and other areas.

The crackdown coincides with the decision taken in the MCC Council by Mayor Sunanda Palanetra on January 17 after members complained against the health hazards posed by hookah bars. Former mayor Ayub Khan, who spoke on the issue, feared that the younger generation could also be exposed to consumption of drugs if there was no proper monitoring of hookah bars. In view of the threat to health, he urged authorities to cancel the licences given to hookah bars in Mysuru.

Officials from the Cell told The Hindu that the Health Department had already asked the MCC to issue notices to hookah bars for violating various provisions of COTPA.

The Cell had contended that hookah bars were violating Section 4 of COTPA that prohibits smoking in public places. Section 4 of COTPA provides for setting up a designated smoking area in hotels and restaurants having a capacity of more than 30 seats.

“Hookah is also a tobacco product. A separate area should be earmarked. There is a condition that no service of any kind should be provided in the designated area…,” said Shivakumar, consultant, Mysuru district Tobacco Control Cell. COTPA also makes display of ‘no smoking’ signages compulsory.

Officials said the Mysuru police was in receipt of a letter from their counterparts in Bengaluru that referred not only to ill-effects of using hookah, but also the possibility of use of hookah causing spread of COVID-19.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 2:56:37 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/drive-against-hookah-bars-in-mysuru-revisedrevised/article38292379.ece