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Rajasthan likely to bring hookah bars within the ambit of existing Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act
The news about illegal activities at hookah bars and parlours opened in many cities and teenagers being caught smoking keep on coming every now and then. In Jaipur, many such joints are functioning without any legal permission and licence.

On being brought to the notice of Rajasthan's Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria during an adjournment motion in the state Assembly, he expressed his concern about youngsters getting into addiction through 'hookah bars'. He expressed the need to bring hookah under provisions of laws similar to that of cigarette smoking.

Many hotels have also been running hookah bars in the non-smoking zones.  Kataria expressed the view that hookahs should be brought within the ambit of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act.

Legal reforms and provisions, bans and fines often lead to making smokers clever hoodwinkers. It has been rightly said that habits never die, rather become subtler with bans and fines. In fact, the new tricks get invented about 'How not to get caught' since a new challenge is provided to the hard smokers to beat the ban, said a social psychologist and counsellor in Jaipur.

I think, much more emphasis is required for preventive education and developing an attitude of not smoking among the people. For this one would require to catch them young. The preventive wholesome education to the young both at home and in schools needs to be provided. Some of the preventive education measures for the young could be as follows.

Development of the following life skills is required in schools:

 •            The skill of making informed choices

•             The skill of saying no to peer pressure

•             Self-evaluation skill

The roots of inappropriate behaviour are invariably imbedded in the early experience and history of an individual. For developing an appropriate behaviour, the following actions are required at the school and home levels.

•             Favourable emotional environment

•             Friendly relationship

•             Self-learning strategies including self development and self awareness.

•             Analytical and rational thinking skills

Also, there is a need to strengthen the factors for positive thinking. The following things need to be done in this respect.

 •            Expansion of recreation activities and facilities

•             Providing a feeling of success

•             Creating a social support system

•             Organizing clubs and interest groups

Besides the foregoing, a vigilant supervision of elders at home and teachers in school can be helpful for detecting early indulgence in smoking and immediate corrective action. Smoking, before it becomes a habit and addiction, it should get detected and corrected. After all, prevention is better than cure!!

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