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Delhi govt seeks action against illegal hookah bars

Delhi govt seeks action against illegal hookah bars
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New Delhi: The Delhi government has written to Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik seeking appropriate action against hookah bars which are being run illegally in the national capital.
Refering to previous communications in this regard along with letter numbers and dates, Additional Director (Health) S K Arora said despite repeated requests for action, the hookah bars were still running in various restaurants, eatery houses and hotels "illegally" in several parts of the city.
"We have communicated to the Delhi Police on several occasions in the last four years that a large number of hookah bars are running in various restaurants, eatery houses and hotels all over Delhi which are illegal and spoiling the younger generation by making them addicted to nicotine and other harmful materials," Arora said in his letter.
He said hookah smoking was not allowed in non-smoking zones as per section 4 of the The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA).
A recent notification from the ministry of health dated 23 completely prohibits use of hookah even in smoking zones also.
Arora said most of the owners of these hookah bars claim that they were using herbal materials but the seized material from these hookah bars during several raids showed the presence of nicotine in a significant amount in all the samples during chemical analysis.
"This clearly indicates that in the name of herbs, they are using nicotine alone or as an additive to these herbal mixtures so that the people have urge for repetition and ultimately get trapped in the addicting potential of nicotine," the letter said.
Certain areas from where there were repeated complaints such as Connaught Place, Hauz Khaz village, Rajouri Garden, Janakpuri district centre, Greater Kailash 1 and 2, Defence Colony, cinema theatres and various shopping malls might be raided extensively in view of open violations, it said.
Arora urged the police commissioner to issue instructions to the district police headquarters to conduct raids on all the restaurants and hotels to completely ban the use of hookah in Delhi and protect the younger generation of the menace of tobacco.
Arora further sought cancellation of licenses of such hookah bars which he said were issued by the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
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