Sat. May 25th, 2024 online news,Hyderabad, April 23: The harmful effects of tobacco use are well established and accepted globally. Also the role of tobacco use in public place in spreading infectious disease like Coronavirus.

Smoking has emerged as an independent risk not only for transmission but also COVID-19 severity. Similarly hookahs are an ideal mode for transmission and may create the risk for severe COVID-19. Hookah is smoked simultaneous by several users and the same mouth piece is passed from person to person, thus increasing the risk of spread of Coronavirus. They are difficult to clean and have long pipes, ideal for coronavirus transmission. Further, hookah smoke contains several hazardous chemicals in addition to  tobacco that injure the respiratory lining predisposing the smoker to viral infections, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases and the coronavirus is no exception.Several countries have already placed restrictions on hookah use given the public health risks of COVID-19 transmission it poses.In this regard the Central Government vide its communication dated 16th and 13th March has informed the State Governments that they have the necessary authority under the Epidemic Diseases Act,1897, the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Indian Penal Code 1860 to deal with Coronavirus/Covid-19. Accordingly, several State Governments have invoked relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and other laws to prohibit the sale, use and spitting of chewing tobacco, hookah, pan masala etc., to check the spread of Coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

Hookah Smoking increases the dangers of spread of Covid-19

The Government of Telanganaalready imposed a ban on spitting of paan masala, chewing tobacco or non-tobacco products in public places as an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus with immediate effect.“We request the Government of Telangana to pass necessary orders for prohibiting the ban on the use of hookah in the interest of public health”,Dr A Srikath, Secretary, Indian Dental Association, Deccan Branch.

“We take this opportunity to express our admiration & applaud to the Government of Telangana for taking excellent measures for the prevention & control of spread of COVID 19 virus under the able guidance of the Chief Minister of Telangana. We urge the Government of Telangana to prohibit use of hookah in all public places for causing public nuisance, making air noxious to health &spreading infection of disease dangerous to life”,Bhavna B Mukhopadhyay, Chief Executive Voluntary Health Association of India