Hookah consumption is as harmful as cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. They could lead to lung and oral cancers and severe heart diseases. Representatoinal image/Pixabay
Hyderabad: Despite the ban on hookah clubs, they have been sprouting in the city as they enjoy tremendous customer-patronage.
On their part, police officials claim that they are under pressure from the state government to give priority to drugs. Given the dearth of staff, it is difficult for officials to keep a tab on hookah clubs and customers.
Meanwhile, there are no restrictions on the sale and purchase of portable electric hookah which is sold even in pan shops. In fact, there is increase in the number of women addicts, including those from posh localities.
Zubin Haq, a hookah addict, said "electric hookahs are quite popular with women, who carry them in their handbag and smoke on roads and in restaurants. It has become a fashion statement these days.
Mohammed Sohil who runs Pan Mahal in Srinagar Colony, said "they ask for electric hookah, fill the pot with tobacco imported from Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia in different flavours and are back in their cars."
The top floor of quite a few buildings in posh localities have hookah parlours also called hookah clubs. The customers are limited as it is done clandestinely. Nine flavours of hookah are provided in those places.
Hookah consumption is as harmful as cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. They could lead to lung and oral cancers and severe heart diseases.
"Hookah has been integral to Nawabi lifestyle. Many of those families have a collection of priceless hookah," Nawab Taher Ali said.
A senior police official said "We have conducted raids several times and made arrests under Cigarettes and other Tobacco Prohibition of Advertisement Act (COTPA). But they immediately shift to another area."
Now with a focus on narcotics, raids on hookah clubs have come down drastically.