‘Hookah joints are fire haz­ards’

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - SWAPNIL MISHRA

Post the tragedy at Ka­mala Mills Com­pound, cancer spe­cial­ists have ap­pealed to cit­i­zens to con­sciously avoid go­ing to places which il­le­gally serve hookah. Cit­ing threats of cancer due to smok­ing and also im­mi­nent fire threat like at 1Above restau­rant, on­col­o­gists say that less de­mand of hookah can curb all the pos­si­ble threats in fu­ture.

In Ma­ha­rash­tra, con­sump­tion of to­bacco of any form in pub­lic fo­rums in pro­hib­ited. De­spite this, many hookah bars in the reg­is­tra­tion name of eater­ies sell hookah to cus­tomers which vi­o­lates Cig­a­rettes and Other To­bacco Prod­ucts Act (COTPA), 2003.

On Thurs­day night, four­teen peo­ple died af­ter a fire broke out ap­par­ently from a spark of a hookah served at 1Above.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, se­nior on­col­o­gist and head of the depart­ment of head and neck depart­ment of Tata Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal (TMH) has trashed the gov­ern­ment in his open let­ter for their fail­ure to curb the il­le­gal hookah cul­ture in the city that is turn­ing into a cause of cancer among youths.

As per the on­col­o­gist who has the spear­head in the anti-to­bacco cam­paign with the In­dian gov­ern­ment stated that hookah is more harm­ful than ci­garette.

In his let­ter, he has re­quested youth to avoid hookah par­lours since they are fire haz­ards also.

In the last week of July of this year, the state health depart­ment held a meet­ing to in­tro­duce a new pro­vi­sion in the Bom­bay Shops and Es­tab­lish­ment Act that would pro­hibit any reg­is­tered shop un­der the act from sell­ing hookah. The rec­om­men­da­tion was sent to the state gov­ern­ment for final nod but it is still ly­ing in pipe­line.

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