Shutting down of Shisha bars by the effective use of current legal provisions - a case series from Punjab, India
Rakesh Gupta 1  
Varun Roojam 2
More details
Hide details
State Tobacco Control Cell, Department of Health and Family Welfare, India
Indian Administrative Services, Department of Health and Family Welfare, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A620
Download abstract book (PDF)

Background and challenges to implementation:
Tobacco in Shisha /Hookah is known to be carcinogenic. Health risks of smoking Shisha /Hookah include exposure to many toxic chemicals. Presently there is no provision under any law in India to ban Shisha /Hookah. But running a Shisha /Hookah Bar violate many provisions of other legislations of India like The Poisons Act, 1919, Section 4, 5, 6 & 7 of COTPA, 2003, Food safety and Standards Act, 2006, Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (In case minors are present in Hookah/Shisha Bars) and Section 144 if promulgated. The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of current legal provisions in shutting down of Shisha bars.

Intervention or response:
The present study was conducted in the period of April 2011 to March 2017 in Punjab. In 2013 Punjab Government had issued a Demi-Official letter to the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts to promulgate section 144 of CrPC against all the Shisha /Hookah bars. Health Advisory in year 2013 was issued regarding Shisha /Hookah by whatever names it is called. Regular enforcement drives and IEC activities were done at State, district to create awareness regarding the ill effects of Shisha /Hookah

Results and lessons learnt:
Total 15 Shisha /Hookah bars have been raided in various districts of Punjab. FIRs have been launched against Shisha /Hookah bar owners by the Police department under section 144 of CrPC and cases have been launched under FSSAI, India. No complaint regarding a functional Shisha /Hookah bar has been received anywhere in Punjab.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
The strict measures undertaken by the Punjab government against Shisha /Hookah bars was detrimental in functioning of Shisha /Hookah bars in the state. Strong interdepartmental co-ordination, awareness activities and regular enforcements drives are the re-enforcers in shutting down of Shisha/Hookah bars.