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Enforcement of shisha ban renewed in Nairobi’s nightclubs and bars

The emerging use of the banned Shisha (Hookah) products in some of the nightclubs and bars in Nairobi County has attracted the attention of the leadership, which has now renewed the enforcement of the ban.

The County Public Health Chief Officer Tom Michira Nyakaba, in a letter dated January 13, directed the Head of the Tobacco Control Unit to liaise with the relevant departments to ensure compliance as anticipated under the Public Health Act, Cap 242, and the relevant tobacco control laws.

Also read: Sakaja urged to crackdown on city shisha dens

“In lieu of the correspondence from Office of The Clerk, County Assembly Ref: NCCA/SC4ISC/CORR/2022/03 (copy attached) to the County Secretary, and onward transmission to this office, you are hereby instructed to take necessary enforcement action as anticipated under the Public Health Act, Cap 242 and the relevant tobacco control laws,” Mr. Michira said.

As it stands, Shisha’s sale, use, import, and smoking is illegal in the country.

In 2017, Kenya implemented a comprehensive ban on Shisha, including advertising, promotion, distribution, and encouraging or facilitating its use.

“Any person who contravenes any provision of these rules may, where a penalty has not been expressly provided for under any provision of the Act, be liable to the penalty contemplated under section 163 of the Act,” the government said during the ban announcement on December 27, 2017.

Also read: Man pleads guilty to selling Shisha

Daily Nation revealed in one of its investigations that the Shisha business was a tightly protected venture.

The Nairobi News has also revealed that the banned substance is still prevalent not only in Nairobi but is common in most Mombasa and Kilifi counties nightclubs.

Also, the substance can be easily ordered through online platforms and is available from Sh4, 000, Sh9, 000, and so on, depending on the variety of the substance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the charcoal used to heat tobacco can raise health risks by producing high carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.

CDC states that even after it has passed through water, the smoke from a hookah has high levels of these toxic agents, and the tobacco juices from hookahs irritate the mouth and increase the risk of developing oral cancers.

Also read: WATCH: Bahati puffs ‘shisha’ to celebrate achievements