An amendment to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisment and Regulations of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act,2003 bringing hookah bars under it’s ambit on Friday, banning the use of hookah, thereby , in Jaipur.
Hookah is deep-rooted in the culture of rural areas in the state and amendment aims to challenge the same. The enforcement of the new amendment in COTPA, that makes social use of hookahs illegal, seems like a challenge for a state where the use of hookahs at social functions is a usual practice. This step by the Modi government which imposes a fine of Rs.50,000 to Rs.1,00,000 on anyone who doesn’t abide by the rule, is being widely opposed as it seems to challenge the long followed tradition.
The amendment in CTPA prohibits hookah even at community level like gram chaupals, marriages and other social gatherings, but elders in village who live by hookah, refuse to comply. Moreover, it would be a daunting task for health authorities as people in rural areas don’t relate it with health hazards.