The Gujarat government today banned hookah bars running across the state and warned of stringent punishment if the orders are defied.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said Hookah bars have been ruining the lives of youths, adding that he will not let the land of Mahatma Gandhi become prey to drug trafficking.
"We will not let the life of Gujarat's youth in jeopardy. We will not let their lives be ruined because of drugs and that is why we have banned hookah bars in Gujarat and have formulated strict laws to stop drug trafficking. We have committed ourselves to enforce drug ban in Gujarat. This land is the land of Gandhi, Sardar," he said.
In this regard, the Gujarat cabinet today approved an ordinance to effect necessary amendments in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003.
Under this, those running a hookah bar will be considered as a cognisable offence and, reportedly, would attract a fine of Rs 20,000 to 50,000 and imprisonment from one year to three years.