Even as the commercial sale of molasses — which contains nicotine — in hookah bars has been declared illegal as per the Drugs Act, bars in the city still continue to serve hookah.
With a view to prevent this practice in the city, the food and drugs administration officials are conducting several searches as directed by the district administration on Monday.
Read more| Hookah bars operate despite ban
The administration had claimed that hookah bars are serving molasses containing nicotine, which is injurious to health, especially to “college students and youths”.
“Nicotine has been included in the category of toxins under the Haryana Toxic Ownership and Sales Rules, 1966, and is treated as poison. We are taking all measures to ban hookahs in Gurgaon,” said Amandeep Chauhan, drug control officer, Gurgaon.
As incidences of serving hookahs in bars have been reported from time to time, the district administration on Monday exercised powers under Section 144 of the CrPC to ban hookah bars.
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“Usually, the bars in malls served hookahs. We had conducted searches in MGF mall, Sector 14 restaurants and bars in Palam Vihar. At present, there are no legal hookah bars. We will continue our searches to make the city nicotine-free,” Chauhan said.
In 2010, hookah bars were banned in Haryana after a public interest litigation was filed in the court in 2007.
The city witnessed the first even conviction under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940, on January 20, when a manager and worker of a hookah bar in Sector 14 market was awarded a three-year imprisonment by a city court.
Last September, in a joint operation by the Food & Drugs Administration officials and Gurgaon police, a hookah bar operational in Sector 23, Palam Vihar, was searched.
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During the search, nine hookahs and over 10 kg of flavoured molasses containing nicotine were recovered by the team.
To stop the functioning of hookah bars, the district administration on March 2, 2012 had invoked Section 144. Within a year of that, the health and police department searched and closed seven hookah bars across the city.
In July, 2013, over 100 students from prominent schools were caught in a bar called Hookah Baron during an excise department search.
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