The smoking habits of hookah drinkers are also changing, with a report out this week claiming more than a third of hookahs in India are smoking more than the next most popular type of pipe.
The report, which was commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), claimed that hookah smoking rates in India were growing at a rate of 1.5 per cent per year, more than double the rate of the next highest type of tobacco.
The study, conducted by the Indian Tobacco Research Institute (ITRI), said more than 80 per cent of the smokers in the country had been smoking for at least five years, up from about 45 per cent in 2015.
The ITRI report cited a study from the WHO which found that smoking was now the most popular recreational drug in India with more than 10 per cent saying they used it regularly.
The number of hookas on the streets rose from around 2,000 in 2015 to nearly 11,000 this year, according to the ITRI.
A recent report by the International Narcotics Control Board found that there are around 300,000 people in India who are addicted to hookah, with up to 70 per cent taking it recreationally.
The WHO, which released its 2017 Global Tobacco Survey in November, said the use of tobacco products in India has become more popular over the past decade and that it is estimated that more than 4 million Indians have used tobacco in the past year.
It said India had the second highest number of people aged 10-64 years who smoked, with 3.7 million people and 5.1 million people aged 65 and over.
It also noted that hookahs were used in nearly 50 per cent more of the urban areas of India than in rural areas, with nearly two-thirds of hooka users in urban areas.