Karnataka Health Minister, Dinesh Gundu Rao, made an important announcement on Thursday, regarding the protection of public health and youth. To combat the alarming statistics revealed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016-17 (GATS-2), the state of Karnataka has implemented a statewide ban on hookah.
According to the survey, a staggering 22.8% of adults in Karnataka are tobacco users, with 8.8% being smokers. Additionally, the report highlighted that 23.9% of adults are exposed to second-hand smoke in public places, emphasizing the widespread risk associated with tobacco consumption in the state.
The decision to ban hookah was made due to its common usage in enclosed spaces and the fact that it is shared among multiple individuals. This poses a significant health risk, as hookah users are highly susceptible to contracting diseases such as herpes and hepatitis.
In addition to the ban on hookah, the order also prohibits the sale of hookah and related ingredients, as well as any advertising or business activities related to hookah.
This proactive measure taken by Karnataka aims to safeguard the well-being of its citizens, particularly the younger generation, from the harmful effects of tobacco.