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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Stop Shisha smoking – Health officials ignoring the dangers to health in Zambia worrying

Headlines Stop Shisha smoking - Health officials ignoring the dangers to health in...

There are enough global evidence and warnings over the risks of shisha smoking, and very clear that shisha products are being pushed very hard to children, youths and adolescents. This creates an entirely avoidable risk of a new generation that will be addicted to nicotine.

Shisha smoking, also called hookah, narghile, waterpipe, or hubble bubble smoking is a way of smoking tobacco, normally mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through a bowl and hose or tube.

Shisha pipes use tobacco sweetened with fruit or molasses sugar, which makes the smoke more aromatic than cigarette smoke. Flavourings include apple, plum, coconut, mango, mint, strawberry and cola. Wood, coal, or charcoal is burned in the shisha pipe to heat the tobacco and create the smoke as the fruit syrup or sugar makes the tobacco damp.

When you smoke shisha, you and anyone sitting near you are breathing in smoke which releases toxins including carbon monoxide and heavy metals reducing your body’s ability to carry oxygen around in your blood. Shisha tobacco contains cigarette tobacco, so like cigarettes it contains nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. As a result, shisha smokers are at risk of the same kinds of diseases as cigarette smokers, such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and problems during pregnancy.

People smoke shisha for much longer periods of time than they smoke a cigarette, and in one puff of shisha you inhale the same amount of smoke as you’d get from smoking a whole cigarette. The average shisha-smoking session lasts an hour and research has shown that in this time you can inhale the same amount of smoke as from more than 100 cigarettes. Some people mistakenly think that shisha smoking is not addictive because the water used in the pipe can absorb nicotine. In reality, because only some of the nicotine is absorbed by the water, shisha smokers are still exposed to enough nicotine to cause an addiction.

The current Shisha use among young population in Zambia is worrisome. According to Ministry of Health over 7,000 people die each year due to tobacco caused diseases including cancers, heart attacks, Lung diseases and many more Non-Communicable Diseases. And this is enough evidence for the Law Makers to support and ban all forms of tobacco use in Zambia. Tobacco use if not properly handled will kill many young people at an early age.

We urge the Ministry of Health to pull up its socks and increase health promotions and awareness programs in communities, and also in collaboration with line Ministries to earnestly speed up the Tobacco and Nicotine Products Control Bill process which has been dormant for almost 10 years, to serve the population and especially the young generation who are a target to tobacco industry as their future customers.

We also urge the Law makers to support tobacco control in many forums to protect its citizens as tobacco is a deadly product which should not be entertained at all cost.

Issued By Brenda Chitindi
Executive Director
Tobacco – Free Association of Zambia


  1. I don’t smoke, but can detect bull when I read it. I
    What would be nice would have been to validity this article with data of fully analyzed laboratory samples of shisha found in most clubs, bars, etc.
    If the ban on shisha is to pass you need it to be backed up with facts, and not according to stories.

    • Zambians are copycat i.di.ots. Smoking is not a game or a trend. smoking is a danger to your health. No evacuation for to SA when you lung dry up from smoke.

  2. Shisha is not as bad as cigarettes.

    Shisha smoke is filtered through water which cleans a bit of tar but mainly cools down the smoke.

    Cigarettes on the other hand produce tar heavy smoke that’s very hot. This combination is the main cause of illnesses related to smoking.

    I’m not saying smoking Shisha is safe, but it is safer than cigarettes.

    Shisha is not being pushed on children. Cigarettes are. Go to any compound you’ll see.

  3. Those who want to die let them die, at least they will leave space for those who want a life . why should we have laws to control grown adults? we have better things to fight like the FIC

    I don’t believe anyone can influence something you don’t like, i don’t drink and smock cos i chose not to.

  4. How is the FIC investigation going so far, let’s hope justice will be saved n he big fish brought to book.

    • Nearly all day-to-day things we depend on for our survival are imported. Some of the imported things we consume are harmful to our health, but we may not even know. Cancer, for example, is common these days. In the olden days, this scourge was unheard of; it must be related to what we consume. For instance, our ancestors never used fine salt; in fact it was not there. Our people used what in my language we call Chipala. This was a type of salt extracted from a certain type of river hyacinth known as Kachebele in my language. They used to burn the hyacinth, soaked it in water and boiled the water continuously until the hyacinth attained a certain texture which was then poured into a clay pot where it solidified into salt. The pot would then be broken and the solid salt would come out…

  5. “Ban” is a big word hahaha. The tobacco leaf actually has some supplements which are quite beneficial to health. Processed ciggarates are the culprit in terms of smoking related diseases. Go to the rural areas of Zambia you will find long lived old men who are daily smokers of balani or fodya. So its very dangerous to make simplistic conclusions. My motto is everything in moderation as per stoic tradition pantu namenshi ngamwanwa sana yalakola. I am a non smoker by the way.

  6. Has the Lebanese traditional smoke taken away business from the Tobacco Company? Why not just regulate it like other cigarettes? My friend quit Peter Stuyvesant in preference to shisha

  7. Some of these so called NGO’s like this one should automatically be included in the FIC investigations because that is all they are doing, stealing tax payers money.

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