From today, the fashionable hookahs would be removed from all the bars in Gurgaon as the district administration has invoked a ban on the ethnic device used for smoking nicotine-rich drugs.
A drive would be launched from Tuesday to seal the hookah bars with the help of police, if their owners refuse to remove hookahs, officials of the Haryana Food and Drugs Administration (HFDA) said.
The move came after the drug control authority found about 50 hookah bars functioning despite raids conducted at two bars last months and samples of molasses tobacco seized.
On Monday, district magistrate PC Meena invoked a ban on hookahs saying that the young generations were being spoilt by these illegally running bars. Meena said that taking the health hazards of tobacco and nicotine into account, the operation of hookah bars have been prohibited with immediate effect.
“The orders have been sent to the district police and health authorities. Those violating the orders would be booked under section 188 of IPC,” Meena added.
Naripan Goyal, drugs inspector of Gurgaon, said that a team of officials along with some policemen would raid hookah bars from Tuesday and would seal those who refuse to remove hookahs from their premises.
According to the industry sources, Gurgaon has about 50 bars that offer hookahs with tobacco molasses.
The bar owners claimed that the molasses tobacco they serve in the hookahs contain very less quantity of nicotine.
“We have just 0.5% nicotine in the substance and it is not harmful,” said Jaideep Manojia of Jolly Rodgers bar on the MG Road.
Molasses tobacco which is mainly produced in the Middle East countries is available in different flavours such as ginger, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and lime. The product comes in packets weighing 50gm to one kg.