Kenya to ban shisha over health risks
The government is considering banning shisha due to the health risks it poses.
The highly toxic tobacco substance is smoked using a hookah (water pipe) and gained popularity at entertainment establishments in Kenya over the last year.
Shisha-smoking has become popular among young people in Africa as it is considered cool but most smokers are unaware of the dangers.
Health CS Cleopa Mailu told The Star on Thursday that discussions on the ban, with various government departments, were ongoing.
“We are contemplating banning shisha … we will definitely do that,” he said by phone.
“We are in discussions with the Attorney General (Githu Muigai) on developing the legislation. The document being circulated online online was probably being prepared for my signature but it’s not final and we are not yet there.”
This comes days after Rwanda became the second country in Africa to ban shisha smoking. Tanzanian President John Magufuli imposed the ban last July.
Other countries which have banned shisha are Pakistan, Jordan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
More on this: Ban Shisha like Rwanda, Mututho tells government
The World Health Organisation recently revealed that smoking shisha poses grave health risks as the smoke of 100 or more cigarettes is inhaled in a single session.
“Cigarette smokers typically take eight to 12 cigarettes with a 40 to 75 millimeter puffs and inhale 0.5 to 0.6 litres of smoke. [This is] unlike shisha-smoking sessions which typically last 20 to 80 minutes, during which the smoker may take 50 to 200 puffs which range from about 0.15 to 1 litre each.”
The substance is known to cause problems during pregnancy.