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City NGO to file review plea against SC order lifting ban on hookah bars

On Monday, SC set aside the Bombay HC order along with Madras and Gujarat HC order that imposed a ban on hookah use in restaurants.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
December 10, 2014 2:04:37 am
hookah-m On Monday, SC set aside the Bombay HC order along with Madras and Gujarat HC order that imposed a ban on hookah use in restaurants.

With an aim to bring back the three-year-old ban on hookah smoking in restaurants and hotels, city-based non-government organisation, Action Council Against Tobacco India (ACATI), is set to file a review petition against the Supreme Court’s Monday decision that lifted the ban on hookah after striking down orders of three different high courts.

On Monday, the bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman set aside the Bombay HC order along with Madras and Gujarat HC order that imposed a ban on hookah use in restaurants. The Bombay HC order had come after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a similar circular in July 2011. Voicing opinion against the Apex court’s ruling, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck onco-surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital and also a member of the executive council in the ACATI, said, “Allowing hookah even in smoking zones will glamourize the concept of smoking.

People who enter for hookah in these areas may get tempted to try smoking cigarettes.” He added that the younger crop of college-going students will get easy access to tobacco and nicotine products.

“There is no guarantee that the hotels will not serve hookah outside smoking zones. Keeping a check on whether they are sticking to the set rules will be difficult,” Chaturvedi added.

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Currently, the state government is planning to frame stricter implementation mechanism of the Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Act, 2003, by forming an enforcement squad that will specialise in penalising people found smoking in public spaces. So far, while 21 authorities have been authorised to fine public smoking, the state public health department has reported little involvement of most of the authorities.

Sanjay Seth, director of Campaign for Tobacco-free kids (India chapter), said, “Serving the hookah in the smoking zone will expose the hotel and restaurant staff to carcinogenic fumes. BMC had done a wonderful job in protecting the health of those innocent employees by banning the service in smoking areas.”
tabassum.barnagarwala@expressindia.com

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First published on: 10-12-2014 at 02:04:37 am

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