HYDERABAD : The Telangana Assembly unanimously passed the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production Supply and Distribution) (Amendment) Bill 2024 by voice vote without any discussion on Monday, paving the way for a blanket ban on hookah parlours across the state.
Minister for Legislative Affairs, IT and Industries Dudilla Sridhar Babu introduced the Bill on behalf of Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy.
All political parties welcomed the Bill which Assembly Speaker Gaddam Prasad Kumar swiftly approved without any debate.
‘Youth at risk of hookah addiction’
Explaining the aims and objectives of the Bill, Sridhar Babu said the state government felt an immediate need to ban hookah parlours in view of the harm they are causing to the younger generation. The chief minister decided to impose a ban on the hookah parlours in Telangana and Cabinet approved the decision. Sridhar Babu told the House that organisers of hookah parlours were taking advantage of the craze for hookah smoking among youth, including college students, and that there was a possibility of youth getting addicted to it.
The minister said that smoking hookah was more harmful than smoking cigarettes and it makes the smokers take toxic substances and there is a possibility of youth getting addicted to it.
“Hookah smoking is more harmful than cigarette smoking. One-hour hookah containing about 200 puffs is 100 times more harmful than cigarettes,” the minister said. He said that since coal is used in a hookah, the smoke releases a high level of carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals called carcinogens.