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Maharashtra seeks inclusion of hookah parlours in COPTA : Minister

Maharashtra government will ask the Centre to include hookah parlours in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COPTA), 2003.

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Maharashtra seeks inclusion of hookah parlours in COPTA : Minister
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Maharashtra government will ask the Centre to include hookah parlours in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COPTA), 2003.

This was stated in the Legislative Council by Minister of State for Home (Urban) Ranjit Patil while replying to a short duration debate raised by Prakash Gajbhiye (NCP).

The minister added that current provisions of fines need to be raised and punishment made more stringent.
"We will recommend to the Centre to include hookah parlours in the COPTA Act," Patil said.
He said that the Kamala mills fire of December 28 was caused by flying embers from a hookah.
Gajbhiye had raised a debate in the House on rising addiction among youth to tobacco, liquor and narcotics.

He expressed grave concern over increasing numbers of girls and women getting addicted to cigarettes. Gajbhiye said besides 56 per cent of men addicted to smoking, 48 per cent of women had also got addicted to it.
Replying to the debate, Patil said according to doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital, a cancer treatment facility, on an average 60,000 cases of oral malignancy (oral cancer) were being registered annually.

He stressed on the need for an integrated effort from the Home, Food and Drug Administration, State Excise, Education, Public Health, Social Justice and other departments to tackle the menace of tobacco, liquor and drug addiction.
Minister for Food and Drug Administration Girish Bapat said that more than applying the force of the law, emphasis will have to be laid on creating public awareness on the harmful effects of addiction.
Replying to the debate, Minister for Public Health Deepak Sawant stressed the need for making the COPTA more stringent.
"E-cigarettes need to be banned as the liquid used in them contain high levels of nicotine," Sawant said. 

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