Smoking shisha and selling it could by the end of this week become a criminal activity after Members of Parliament in an emergency meeting in a Kampala hotel resolved to legislate against it.
Shisha also known as a narghile or goza or hookah, mostly found in night clubs and pubs, is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe and a hose. Specially made tobacco is heated, and the smoke passes through water and is then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece.
Regrouping last week on Friday to save the Tobacco Control Bill, 2014 after the deputy speaker of parliament, Mr Jacob Oulanya deferred it twice in as many days on the grounds that it lacked consensus, the lawmakers while trying to harmonise their positions on the proposed law also resolved in the early morning meeting to ban shisha smoking.
“We don’t want shisha here. We are going to completely ban because it is more dangerous than cigarettes,” said the Mbarara Municipality MP.
This means that night clubs, pubs and other social places that would sell it to revelers would be breaking the law and therefore culpable to prosecution. And likewise whoever would
be caught smoking it will equally be liable to the same wrath—criminal prosecution.
According to Dr Bitekyerezo, the view that smoking shisha is somehow widely considered to be a completely safe, risk-free practice is erroneous.
“Shisha or Hookah smoking can be as damaging, addictive, and dangerous as cigarettes, because the tobacco is no less toxic in a water-pipe. In fact, a habitual shisha smoker might breathe in much more poisonous fumes during an hour-long session than a typical cigarette smoker inhales in a few days,” reads prt of the information contained on http://www.quitshisha.com.
Further information indicates that smoking shisha can cause a wide array of long-term health risks, including cancer and heart, skin, and gum diseases.
The chairman of the Niche Tobacco Advisory Group (NTAG), Dr Khalid Anis is also among those who have dismissed the misconception that shisha is not as bad as cigarettes, because the tobacco is flavoured and passes through water first.
http://www.theguardian.com quoted Dr Anis as saying that carcinogens and nicotine are still there. So a regular shisha smoker can expect to be at risk to the similar health problems that cigarette smokers face, whether that’s respiratory, heart disease or cancer.
According to research carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the volume of smoke inhaled in an hour-long shisha session is estimated to be the equivalent of smoking between 100 and 200 cigarettes.
The estimated findings go on to show that, on average, a smoker will inhale half a litre of smoke per cigarette, while a shisha smoker can take in anything from just under a sixth of a litre to a litre of smoke per inhale.
Although there are views questioning the WHO findings, saying the two—shisha and cigarettes cannot be compared because it is like comparing oranges to apples more information contained in http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle shows that Shisha or Hookah smoking is not safer than cigarette smoking even though it is flavoured, normally with fruits.
Meanwhile, the state minister for health, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, who before being appointed in his current position, introduced the bill to parliament in 2011, said the proposed law will resurface in the parliament order paper Tuesday with a hope that it will see the light of the day— debated and passed into law, considering that it has since been postponed twice.
What it is
Shisha, the origins of which are disputed (some say India, others Persia or Turkey) is a glass-bottomed water pipe in which fruit-flavoured tobacco is covered with foil and roasted with charcoal. The tobacco smoke passes through a water chamber and is inhaled deeply and slowly. Source: http://www.theguardian.com.