New Delhi: Following notification from union health ministry for strict adherence to anti-smoking laws, the Delhi Health Department on Tuesday directed Delhi Police and municipal corporation to cancel the licences of restaurants, eateries and hotels operating illegal hookah bars.

“Hookah smoking is not allowed in Non Smoking Zones as per section 4 of COTPA (Cigarette & other Tobacco Products Act.) Recent notification of Government of India GSR 500(E) dated 23rd May 2017 from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, completely prohibits use of Hookah in the smoking zones also," said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain in his order.

“Therefore, Hookah Bars in any form are illegal and Delhi Police and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) should cancel the licenses of restaurants, eateries and hotels that are running illegal Hookah Bars," he said.

The State Tobacco Control Cell has conducted several raids in various parts of Delhi. According to the government, chemical analysis of picked up samples showed the presence of nicotine in significant amount in almost all the samples though originally they were claimed to be herbal in nature.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an hour long hookah session comprises 200 puffs compared to 30 puffs in a cigarette.

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