Published on: 22 September 2023 at 15:45 IST
The Karnataka government has taken steps to prohibit hookah bars across the state and is contemplating raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products, specifically cigarettes, from 18 to 21 years.
On September 19, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dinesh Gundu Rao, and Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports, and ST Welfare B Nagendra jointly announced these measures during a press conference.
Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao shared this development via his official Twitter account, emphasizing the government’s commitment to the well-being of its citizens. He stated, “In consideration of the state’s residents, our Government has opted to introduce a distinct legislation to prohibit hookah bars within the state. This decision aims to discourage tobacco product consumption among young individuals, ensuring a healthier future for them.”
The government aims to implement these changes through amendments to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) during the upcoming winter session of the State legislature.
Furthermore, the ministers revealed plans to issue an official order and collaborate closely with the police to enforce the hookah bar ban effectively.
Minister Rao also highlighted additional proposed amendments to COTPA by the Department of Health and Family Welfare. One of the key changes includes raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.
Explaining the rationale behind this adjustment, Rao pointed out that the previous age limit of 18 had led to underage individuals accessing tobacco products. Hence, the proposed amendment aims to raise the age threshold to 21, preventing younger individuals from purchasing such products.