Mutunga tears into CS Mailu shisha ban
Former Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga has questioned the move by Government to ban importation, manufacture and sale of shisha in the country.
Dr Mutunga said chances were that the Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr Cleopa Mailu, had not consulted the Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai before making the decision.
He added the ban on the substance is not only illegal but hypocritical and dictatorial.
“The chances are that the CS has not consulted the AG on his constitutional and legal powers to announce such a ban. For a person who doesn’t believe that the right to health is a public good this ban smirks of hypocricy and dictatorship,” Mutunga said in a tweet.
On Thursday, CS Mailu warned that culprits would be liable to penalty under section 163 of Public Health Act.
“No person shall import, manufacture, sell, offer for sale, use, advertise, promote, facilitate or encourage shisha smoking in Kenya, “read part of the Gazette Notice.
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Rwanda outlawed the importation, advertising and smoking of shisha within its territory over health concerns on December 15.
In a public notice, her ministry warned of sanctions to those who would flout the ban on the substance also known as water-pipe tobacco smoking.
Recently, World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that smoking shisha posed grave health risks as shisha smokers in a single session would inhale smoke of 100 or more cigarettes.
“Cigarette smokers typically take eight to 12 cigarettes with a 40 to 75 millimeter puffs and inhaled 0.5 to 0.6 litres of smoke 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,” it said.
The report would further warn of dire consequences for passive smokers.
“Second-hand smoke from waterpipes is a mixture of tobacco smoke in addition to smoke from the fuel applied to burn the tobacco and therefore poses a serious risk for non-smokers,” it pointed out.
Kenya joins Rwanda, Tanzania, Pakistan, Jordan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia in banning the substance.