Rumamer county bans smoking ‘Shisha’ in public places

Hookah pipes seized in Aniet market, photo: Mayen Ayuong |AIRS|

Authorities in Rumamer county, Abyei Administrative Area have banned smoking of ‘shisha’ in the market.

The local order was issued on Saturday and effected immediately. Community police on Tuesday seized about 40 containers used for smoking shisha including  hookah pipes in Aniet market.

The ban is intended to prevent women from smoking ‘shisha’ in public places – a habit widely considered improper in the community.

The administrative officer in Rumamer, Mijak Kuol Mijak says “shisha’ is banned because it is harmful to the community.

“We see smoking Shisha in public shops is harmful, that’s why we banned it. In the market you can find two men and women smoking Shisha together and this is not good. So, we banned it. No one can blame us. If someone smokes it in his house, we cannot ask him or her,” Mijak says.

According to the order, anyone who violates the ban will pay 40,000 SSP as a fine. The order does not affect the sale of the product in the store.

The ban has been criticized by some people in Agok who said ‘shisha’ business is a source of income to some families. They said the best way was to arrest women or girls caught smoking ‘shisha.’

Last year, Abyei municipality issued similar order, banning women from smoking ‘shisha’ in public places.

What is shisha made of? 

Shisha usually contains tobacco which is sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses. Its popular flavors include apple, strawberry, mint and cola. 

Preparing shisha for smoking involves placing a burning charcoal or wood on an aluminum foil that covers the ‘shisha’ on top of hookah pipe. The smoke produced by the burning substance passes through water in the pipe before it is inhaled by the smoker. 

What is the health effects of smoking shisha? 

Studies of tobacco-based shisha and “herbal” shisha show that smoke from both preparations contain carbon monoxide and other toxic agents known to increase the risks for smoking-related cancers, heart disease, and lung disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.