Seven years after the Haryana Govt pulled the curtains on all Hookah bars, restaurants and lounges in Haryana & Punjab, The Delhi Govt. cracks the whip on Hookah in Delhi. On the 31st of October, the Delhi Government asked Delhi Police and Municipal Corporations to immediately cancel all licenses for any place, read bars and lounges, serving the Hookah.
Getting to the facts of the scenario, Health Minister, Satyendra Jain, emphatically announced that under section 4, smoking hookahs is not permitted in smoking as well as non-smoking zones. The whip was cracked in the wake of significant amounts of Nicotine being found in the samples, despite the claim that only herbal flavours were being used.
As is the norm in India, a ban invariably brings out the whining, cribbing Indian brigade, dividing the country yet again…..The question arisen is whether the ban just for hookahs is justified even? The banter has been sounded time and again… A fact is also that a one hour hookah session emits 200 puffs vis a vis 20 puffs emitted from cigarettes. The warning gong maybe sounded now, maybe?? With the factual statistics in place, not really a debate here….or is it?
Been around as a very integral part of daily soirees in the rural areas, The Hookah gained popularity in urban India with variety of flavours and Hookahs that could be taken home. Are we dealing with inexperienced delinquents here who would not find by-lane ways to get their personal Hookah home along with the paraphernalia that is easily available to purchase? The underlying fact remains that cigarettes and tobacco earn gross amounts of revenue for India…health be shown the middle finger here??
Not to undermine the step taken by the Government….I must confess I am a self claimed apostle for any issue sounded in the name of health. My concern here is for the sustenance of the issue. With Indians being synonymous with ” being resourceful”, the longevity of the adherance is in question! I raise my hand to ban anything that is detrimental to health, but i demand stringent laws in totality to facilitate them.
Justified or not…….You decide!