As people world over enjoyed the festive season by engaging in different social activities including eating, drinking and smoking, on 28th December, Kenya banned Shisha smoking sending a wave of anxiety among smokers and importers alike.
Then ban is a relief to many parents, whose youngsters have been addicted to smoking the water-pipe tobacco, widely known as shisha. But a group of 15 people have moved to court seeking a lift on the ban passed by Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.
According to news from a local daily, Justice John Mativo declined to temporarily lift the ban. The group was directed to file the main case and serve Health secretary, and the Attorney-General with court papers before the hearing on January 4.
Studies by the World Health Organization reveal that smoking Shisha poses grave health risks because smoke from a full session (20-80 minutes) of smoking the flavored tobacco is equivalent to smoke produced by 100 cigarettes.
Moreover, the health agency added: “because of the communal nature of water-pipe smoking, with sharing of a mouthpiece, there is potential transmission of infectious diseases,” including tuberculosis and hepatitis.
Locally, the University of Nairobi carried a study which discovered that some of the Shisha products (eight samples) were laced with prohibited substances such as opium, and also contained amphetamine- a highly addictive stimulant that targets the central nervous system.