Adv Keches Shilwante
(Partner @ Legal Biceps)
06 July 2020
Hookahs which contain nicotine are prohibited under COTPA Act, 2003.
But now even flavored, or herbal hookahs are also available which do not contain nicotine (cancer-causing substance) and as a relief to restaurant operators they can legally open herbal hookah bars/lounges.
They are not covered in the ambit of Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003. A ruling of the Delhi High Court,World Lung Foundation, South Asia v. New Delhi Municipal Council, in which the court ruled for National Restaurant Association India (NRAI) and held that herbal hookah flavors would not be considered as tobacco as prescribed in the COTPA Act, 2003. The court also opined that the restaurant owner could legally provide the services of a nicotine-free hookah without any legal barrier.