Telangana Assembly Unanimously Passes Bill to Ban Hookah Parlours
In a decisive move, the Telangana Legislative Assembly has approved a bill aimed at prohibiting hookah parlours throughout the state. The amendment to the existing Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 received unanimous support through a voice vote, with legislators endorsing the measure without any deliberation.
Immediate Action to Safeguard Public Health
Legislative Affairs Minister D. Sridhar Babu, representing Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy, introduced the Telangana Amendment Bill 2024 at the start of the assembly session. The bill seeks to regulate the trade and commerce, production, supply, and distribution of tobacco products, with a specific focus on curbing the proliferation of hookah parlours.
Rationale Behind the Ban
Minister Babu elucidated the urgent need for the ban, emphasizing the detrimental impact of hookah parlours on the youth. Concerns have been raised regarding the rising prevalence of hookah addiction among college students, exploited by parlour organisers for financial gain.
Health Risks Associated with Hookah Smoking
Highlighting the health risks associated with hookah consumption, Minister Babu underscored its greater harm compared to traditional cigarette smoking. He explained that the use of charcoal in hookahs generates smoke containing carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and carcinogenic chemicals, posing significant dangers to both smokers and passive inhalers. The proliferation of hookah parlours in public spaces further exacerbates these health hazards.
Government’s Commitment to Public Well-being
The swift passage of the bill reflects the government’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding public health and curtailing the spread of harmful practices. By enacting measures to regulate hookah parlours, the government aims to protect the well-being of citizens, particularly the younger generation, from the adverse effects of tobacco consumption.