Bhopal: Hookah smoking rampant despite police raids

Bhopal: Hookah smoking rampant despite police raids

Crime branch police officials said that the claim by hookah lounge operators was absurd. The latter use herbal hookah flavours laced with tobacco, which is illegal, officials added

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, May 01, 2023, 09:47 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): About 24 lounges and restaurants operating in the city were raided by Bhopal crime branch police in the last two days to prevent hookah smoking in the city. However, hookah smoking is still on in lounges and cafes of Bhopal. At some places, it is kept under wraps. At other places, it is done without fear of legal action.

Free Press reporter visited hookah lounges in MP Nagar, Chunabhatti and Lalghati to know the ground reality. Their owners said that they served herbal hookah flavours, which are not harmful for health and hence do not come under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act.

Others said that Madhya Pradesh High Court has not banned serving herbal hookah flavours. As a result, they are not doing anything illegal.

When contacted, crime branch police officials said that the claim by hookah lounge operators was absurd. They use herbal hookah flavours laced with tobacco, which is illegal, officials added.

“An intoxicant traces its roots to nature, which includes weed. Lounge operators cannot escape by claiming that hookah flavours with essence of herbs is harmless. Strict action will be taken against lounge operators who are serving hookahs,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Shailendra Singh Chouhan.

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