Rwanda bans ‘shisha’ smoking

Rwanda has banned ‘shisha’ tobacco smoking, including sale, distribution and purchase of the product that has been popular among the country’s youth.

A statement issued by Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba said “the use, advertisement and import of water-pipe tobacco smoking known as ‘shisha’ tobacco is banned on Rwanda territory effective from 15 December 2017”.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), studies have shown that the user of ‘shisha’ draws large doses of toxicants (ranging from less than one to tens of cigarette equivalents).

The toxicants “have been linked to addiction, heart and lung diseases, and cancer in cigarette smokers and can result in similar outcomes in water-pipe users if these toxicants are absorbed in the body in appreciable amounts,” the UN agency said.

Explaining that ‘shisha’ tobacco smoking is damaging, addictive and dangerous on human lives,  Gashumba also warned that legal action would be taken against those who fail to comply with the ban.