Panaji: Dr Shekhar Salkar, President National Organization for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE-India) today in a written correspondence to the Director of Food and Drugs administration (FDA) Goa, brought to the notice about the mushrooming Hookah bars and Lounges within the state, these parlours dubiously operating in city and costal restaurants / recreational spots are conceivably under violation of the The Goa Prohibition of Smoking and Spitting Act, 1997 along with COTPA 2003.
Dr Salkar in the letter added that Hookah besides being a mode of transmission for infectious diseases especially in the pandemic is also a fire safety hazard due to its ambers and is a leading cause of fire at public places, it also promotes tobacco indirectly which is in contravention to the state and national tobacco control laws.
He further added that are no measures or injunctions to verify the content of the ingredients used in these Hookahs and there are nil pictorial warnings and no measures undertaken by owner of these establishments to verify the age of the consumer.
It maybe noted thar Goa prohibition of smoking and spitting act clearly defines “smoking”as an act to consume tobacco with aid of a pipe or any other instrument and furthermore prohibits smoking in public places.
Many states like Maharasthra, Gujrat, Jharkhand and Punjab have banned hookah after state amendments in COTPA 2003 and Goa which enjoys high ranking amongst all other states with respect to less prevelance of tobacco should immediately takes steps to curb such practices like Hookah which directly and indirectly promotes smoking
The letter comes in the wake of a public advertisement openly flouting Hookah bar in a reputed hotel in capital city.