Karnataka: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao has confirmed that his government is considering banning Hokah bars and raising the legal age for tobacco consumption from 18 to 21 years.
Meanwhile, the state government is also planning to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21.
“From 12 years old to 25 years old, young adults are visiting hookah bars. This consumption of tobacco has to stop. Therefore, a law should be passed,” the state health minister said.
The minister further said that some ingredients are being added in the hookah which is making these kids addicted to the product.
“We don’t know what ingredients are added during hookah consumption. Those ingredients are leading them to get addicted. It is getting misused,” Rao added.
Additionally, the Karnataka government has proposed amendments to the Cigarettes and Other Tobaco Products Act (COTPA).
At present sale of tobacco and smoking in public is prohibited within 100 yards of education institutions but the proposed amendments aims to extend this prohibition to areas around hospitals, health, institutions, courts, government offices and religious establishments.