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Karnataka to ban hookah bars, raise minimum age for smoking to 21

IANS | September 20, 2023 11:58 AM

BENGALURU: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao and Sports and Youth Services Minister B. Nagendra on Tuesday announced action will be taken to ban hookah bars in the state.

They have also announced that the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products will be increased from the present 18 years to 21 years.

The decision in this regard has been taken in the meeting jointly held by their ministries.

Rao and Nagendra also said that the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (Cotpa) will be amended to implement the decisions.

Rao also said that consumption and sale of tobacco are prohibited near temples, and hospitals along with schools.

The youth are attracted towards hookah bars and it is impacting their health adversely. The sale of tobacco products to youth below the age of 21 is also prohibited. After smoking, the youth are getting attracted towards drugs and narcotics substances. The use of tobacco products served as the foundation in this direction and the government is addressing the root cause of the problem, he added.

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