Rwanda has effectively put a ban on the import, sale and use of smoking water pipes popularly known as the shisha pipe. The ban got into operation on Friday 15 December 2017.
This makes Rwanda the second country to ban shisha pipe following a similar ban effected last year by Tanzania’s president John Magufuli. In a public notice effective December 15, 2017, the ministry warns of sanctions to those who flout the ban arguing that “…shisha tobacco smoking is damaging, addictive and dangerous on human lives.
“The smoke that emerges from a water-pipe contains numerous toxicants known to cause lung cancer, heart diseases, just to name a few,” reads the communication from Health Minister Diane.
Other countries which have banned the use of shisha include Pakistan, Jordan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that smoking shisha led to grave health consequences. In one session only, smokers can inhale as much as 100 cigarettes. “Cigarette smokers typically take eight to 12 cigarettes with a 40 to 75 millimetre 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,” WHO said.
Across Africa, shisha has become very popular among young people. It is a form of leisure for many. Apparently, not many people are aware of the health risks which it poses. And because of that ignorance, some actually consider it safer than actual cigarettes, which is grossly inaccurate.
Shisha smoke is associated with increased risk of disease— cancer, heart and lung complications.