Sheesha smoking, OVERRULED!


Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday directed authorities to enforce the law banning sheesha smoking at public places.
Earlier the sheesha cafe owners had challenged the government’s crackdown and submitted that the use of sheesha was not harmful for health nor was it a prohibited product.
They said the cafes had designated places for sheesha smoking which did not fall in the category of a public place.
The petitioners requested that the government should be restrained from taking measures against the cafes following a ban on the use of sheesha.
However, the CJ said that sheesha came under the definition of tobacco smoking. He said that the authorities must enforce the ban on smoking in public places.
A few weeks back, counsel for the café owners Shehzad Shaukat had told the court that the government had launched a crackdown on Sheesha cafes was damaging their business, adding that sheesha was neither harmful nor banned hence there was no justification for sealing the cafes serving sheesha. He said separate space had been designated for smoking a cigarette in restaurants while there was no need to do so for sheesha. To this, the court had asked the government to define an “open space” so that the ban could be imposed.