On Monday, the haryana Assembly approved a measure that forbids hookah bars from being established or operated and forbids supplying hookah to patrons in any establishment inside the state, including restaurants. The evening saw the passing of the cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) haryana Amendment Bill, 2024. The measure had been tabled in the house by home minister Anil Vij.

Section 4-A. Prohibition of hookah bar— Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no person shall, either on his own or on behalf of any other person, open or run any hookah bar or serve hookah to a customer in any place, including an eating house— is to be inserted after Section 4 of the principal Act (central law)— The cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution), Act, 2003.

The legislation defines a "eating house" to be "any place where food or refreshment of any kind is provided or sold to visitors for consumption" .
The bill states that Section 21-A would be placed after Section 21 of the main Act.
The clause addresses the penalties for operating a hookah bar.
"Whoever contravenes the provisions of Section 4-A shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than Rs 1 lakh but which may extend to Rs 5 lakh," it reads.

Congress MLA varun Chaudhary included a clause in the amendment during debates on the measure.
According to him, a "hookah bar" is any business where patrons congregate to smoke tobacco from a hookah or narghile—which is a separate commercial service that excludes a conventional hookah.
It states under this that traditional hookah is not covered by this. However, the law does not specify what a typical hookah is. In order to get around things, (violators) will insert illegal and dangerous materials in that conventional hookah. Therefore, it will negate the whole goal of this bill's introduction," he stated.

The definition of "traditional hookah" was another goal pursued by Congressman BB Batra.
According to Vij, the term "hookah bar" refers to any business where people congregate and smoke; it does not refer to those who smoke regular hookah at home.
Chaudhary inquired about the legal ramifications of placing a "traditional hookah" in a business setting and adding illicit chemicals to it.
According to Vij, the measure mentions commercial premises directly, and the congress leader was happy with the minister's explanation.
Later on, the measure was approved.

The state government has taken serious notice of hookah bars offering hookah narghile with tobacco containing nicotine in different areas, as stated in the bill's declaration of aims and reasons.
These hookah establishments offer serve a variety of tastes and herbs. Many times, illegal substances are provided at hookah bars under the pretence of tastes or plants.
"This type of hookah uses a charcoal-heated flavoured ingredient called "shisha" and a water pipe system. Its consumption has expanded dramatically because of the misunderstanding that there is little or no risk involved, as well as the availability of numerous flavours and less harsh smoke."

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