District magistrate, Ludhiana, Rahul Tewari has extended an order under Section 144 of the CrPC, thereby banning hookahs in restaurants and hookah bars.
The ban orders clearly state that hookah bars have been banned throughout Ludhiana district and restaurants too should abstain from offering hookahs to visitors.
The ban order should be implemented in the entire district, including the Ludhiana municipal corporation and municipal committee areas along with the villages, which constitute the revenue district of Ludhiana.
The DM said any person who violates the order would be punished under Section 188 of the IPC. The order has been implemented immediately and will remain in force for two months.
Tewari further said civil surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta had apprised him about the hookah bars operational in the district, which were serving tobacco molasses containing nicotine, which is highly injurious to health. He also said the health officials were suspicious that in addition to tobacco, the hookah bars were using other harmful and banned substances.
But what is more concerning is the fact that the hookahs were being offered to minors too.
The DM categorically stated that the hookahs had been banned in view of general health and goodwill of the public and to ensure in particular that school/college going students, especially minors, do not become a victim of these substances as it is not just harmful for physical health but is also detrimental for mental health.