• May 23, 2024

Shisha popular with young

 Shisha popular with young

Photo by Jan Krömer

Shisha has become part of Zimbabwe’s popular culture with young people smoking it at many of the country’s trendier clubs and bars, according to a story in The Zimbabwe Daily.
Establishments such as Bulawayo’s Backroom Shisha Lounge and Vintage Shisha Bar draw scores of young people on weekends and week nights.
For about US$10, a hookah can be hired and shared among friends, while those who prefer their own have to pay between US$60 and US$200 depending on the size, brand and sophistication of the package.
The Daily’s story said that many people who did not smoke cigarettes had hopped onto the shisha bandwagon, assuming that the latter was a less-risky habit than was the former.
But shisha was not less risky, the Daily warned. It came with health risks associated with exposure to toxic chemicals and infectious diseases, such as oral herpes, tuberculosis, hepatitis and influenza, from sharing pipes.
“People who are sharing shisha pipes are at risk because they are exposed to droplet transmissions and other infections that spread through saliva,” the family health director at the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr. Bernard Madzima, was quoted as saying during an interview with the Sunday Mail.
Madzima added that because the pipes were being used by many people; there was a need to sterilize them.
Meanwhile, the Daily said that shisha users were at risk also from the same problems that affected cigarette smokers: heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and problems during pregnancy.
Despite the fact that most containers of shisha tobacco carried warnings about how smoking damaged the lungs and how it could harm those nearby, some establishments, which did not allow cigarette smoking indoors, allowed shisha smoking indoors.
Lovemore Mukuring of the Cancer Society of Zimbabwe was quoted as saying that as long as tobacco was involved, there were bound to be serious health implications.
“It should be noted that lung cancer cases that are related to tobacco smoking are on the rise so there is a strong need to advocate for the reduction of smoking,” said Mukuring.