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Rwanda bans shisha smoking

Dr Diane Gashumba, Rwanda’s health minister, said shisha contains toxicants that cause lung cancer. File photo.

Smoking water piped tobacco, popularly known as shisha in Ugandan bars, has been banned in Rwanda, citing health concerns. Rwanda becomes the second country in Africa, after Tanzania, to ban smoking shisha.

Rwandese Health ministry has also outlawed its importation and advertising shisha within its territory. According to a public notice issued by the ministry of health in Rwanda today, shisha tobacco smoking is damaging, addictive and dangerous to human lives.

The news of banning shisha smoking in Rwanda has worried the smokers and dealers in Uganda, especially those running popular bars in Kansanga and Kabalangala

“I am worried Uganda might also do the same. Most of my customers come to this bar to smoke shisha. And once Ugandan government bans shisha, many bars in Kabalangala will close,” Simon Mukiibi, a bar tender, in one of the popular bars in Kabalangala said.

One Arthur who enjoys smoking shisha at one of the bars at Centenary Park, challenged health experts to show how dangerous smoking shisha is.

“I have smoked it for years and I feel it is more safer than tobacco,” he argued.

But in the statement, Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda’s health minister, said shisha contains toxicants that cause lung cancer.

Outside Africa, Jordan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

WHO warns
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also warned that smoking shisha exposes the user to the addictive chemical nicotine, carbon monoxide and heavy metals.

Even after passing through water, WHO says the smoke produced contains high levels of toxic compounds.
WHO also says Shisha smoke is associated with increased risk of disease including cancer, heart disease, lung disease and many other deadly ailments.

It is also known to cause problems during pregnancy among female smokers.

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