Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) recently released an order prohibiting the consumption, smoking of Hookah in Hookah Bars, Hotels, Restaurants, Taverns, and Bars including any public places.
This initiative by GMC was taken as a preventive measure against the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic.
As per a report, hookah smoking causes serious health risks. In a typical one-hour smoking session, users may inhale 100-200 times the amount of smoke they would inhale from a single cigarette. Secondhand smoke from hookahs can be a health risk for people who don’t smoke.
Additionally, the mouthpiece, the hose, and the water in the hookah can harbor and transmit bacteria from one user to another when shared.
This is an indicator that Covid 19 virus can spread through hookah sharing. Tobacco use may increase the risk of suffering from serious symptoms due to Covid 19.
GMC officials conducted an inspection on March 15, 2021, and March 17, 2021, at 15-03-2021, at the hookah bars under the jurisdiction of GMC to enquire about the operations of Hookah Bar.
During the inspection, it was found that Hookah bars were serving hookah along with other services without proper demarcation for smoking and non-smoking area.
Compliance with regulations as per COTPA, 2003 were not strictly followed.
Also, as per the report submitted by Tobacco Control Lab, Health Department, Assam, Materials seized during inspection contain a very high level of Nicotine which is not permissible.
There are presently 7(Seven) nos. of registered Hookah bars in Guwahati city within the jurisdiction of GMC –
• Addicted, RGB Road.
• Cloud 7, G.S. Road, Bhangagarh
• Hide Out, G.S. Road, Ganeshguri
• Hotel Palacio, Khanapara
• Rush Entertainment, RGB Road
• INV Enterprise, G.S. Road
• By The Way, Dighalipukhuri
All these seven Hookah bars are banned by GMC in view of the prevailing Covid 19 situation until further order.
Any, person violating the order will be dealt with appropriately and will be prosecuted under provisions of the law.