Citizens For Imposing Ban On Use Of 'sheesha' In Capital

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Citizens for imposing ban on use of 'sheesha' in capital

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Aug, 2019 ) :The citizens on Wednesday demanded the authorities concerned to impose complete ban on open sale of vape, sheesha and electronic cigarettes to students and children in the Federal capital.

According to them, the absence of specific laws has hampered enforcement, demanding to take serious notice to tackle the issue and find ways to control the commercial use of vape, sheesha and electronic cigarettes.

A citizen Arsalan Aleem said that a special prohibition under the law is needed to make it easier to curb the purchase and use of such products.

He added about 90% of vape fluids contained nicotine which could lead to addiction. He said that the ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to youths is necessary as per reports vape liquids are often laced with drugs.

"Parents should not avoid their responsibility and leave it to the schools or the authorities to monitor their children," another citizen Aftab Kaleem said.

He said "Parents must always supervise their children to ensure that they are not exposed to vape or sheesha." He said that guardians must also keep in mind that there was a possibility that their children who consumed the sheesha may want to try it while considering as less harmful for them.

"Most of those involved in sheesha smoking often started because of curiosity or to have fun with their friends," Mubarak Ali, a professor at a private college said.

He said that still several sheesha cafes are functioning in the federal capital, attracting the youth with unique ways but no one is here to consider this serious matter. He suggested that there should be complete ban on use of sheesha in cafes or hotels of federal capital.

Medical expert, Dr Wasim Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said that sheesha is the flavoured tobacco used in smoking process using water pipes. He added the process of smoking sheesha started when tobacco is soaked on fruits shavings such as Apple, grapes and strawberries.

He said that due to the mode of sheesha smoking including frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation, and length of the smoking session, sheesha smokers may absorb higher concentrations of the toxins found in cigarette smoke, increasing the hazard to the body.

He said that the charcoal used to heat tobacco in the sheesha pipes increases the health risks. Even after it has passed through water, the smoke produced by a sheesha contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and cancer-causing chemicals, he added.

He said that sheesha tobacco and smoke contain numerous toxic substances known to cause lung, bladder, and oral cancers. A typical one-hour session of sheesha smoking exposes the user to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.

Dr Wasim said irritation from exposure to tobacco juices increases the risk of developing oral cancers. The irritation by tobacco juice products is likely to be greater among sheesha smokers than among pipe or cigar smokers as sheesha smoking is typically practiced more often and for longer periods of time.

He said that sheesha smoking among pregnant mothers is risky to the baby. Babies born to women who smoked one or more water pipes a day during pregnancy have lower birth weights than babies born to non-smokers and are at an increased risk for respiratory diseases.

He said that sheesha smoking deliver almost the same amount of nicotine as cigarettes do, leading to nicotine addiction.

When contacted, an official from Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination said that after imposing the ban, there would be complete restriction on sale of such tobacco item in cafes and shops in the markets.

He said that there will be complete ban on opening of any sheesha centre or cafe in hotels, markets or public places while the sale of sheesha would also be banned in bazaars.

He said that several other steps would be taken to discourage the country's youth to avoid from the unhealthy practice of sheesha smoking that badly affects their health. He said that using sheesha smoke poses a serious potential health hazard to smokers and others exposed to the smoke emitted.

He said the second hand smoke from sheesha posed a serious risk for non-smokers, as it contained smoke not only from the tobacco but also from the heat source.

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