Burning Brain Society v. India
In this public interest litigation, a public health organization, Burning Brain Society, brought a case against the Indian government and several state governments seeking to ban the operation of hookah bars. The petitioners argued that nicotine is a poisonous drug and that its use in hookah violated the right to life guaranteed by the Indian constitution. The petitioners argued that concentrated nicotine was added to the hookah tobacco to create a more dangerous and addicting product. The court found the tobacco products used in hookah to be commonly laced with nicotine and that this was a harmful and dangerous drug. Ruling for the petitioners, the court required the closing of the hookah bars and for the States to create a permanent task force to monitor and enforce the use of nicotine in hookah bars and to pursue criminal penalties against violators of the law.