Youth blowing health away in sheesha smoke | Pakistan Today

Youth blowing health away in sheesha smoke

Despite a Lahore High Court’s (LHC) order declaring sheesha (hubble-bubble) serving cafes across the city “illegal”, sheesha is still available in many cafes and snooker clubs of the provincial metropolis, Pakistan Today has learnt.
A large number of sheesha-serving cafes are still operating in several city areas including Johar Town, Township, Allama Iqbal Town and Model Town.
People have been increasingly demanding sheesha during the current winter season and are willing to pay high prices for it.
Through youngsters throng these cafes in large numbers, but other people also assemble in such cafes for business meetings and social gatherings. A single sheesha is usually shared between friends to have a good time.
But here’s the shocking truth — a single session of sheesha smoking is same as smoking 200 cigarettes.
Sheesha smoke is often laced with carcinogens or cancer-causing substances, and regular smoking of sheesha could lead to cancer of the lungs, mouth, stomach and esophagus. In addition sheesha smoking has been associated with other health conditions like impaired pulmonary function, heart diseases and reduced fertility.
“It is not difficult for us to arrange or find sheesha because we are regular customers of one such sheesha serving café, and they have no problem in providing us with what we need,” said Ali Masood a student of UCP told Pakistan Today.
Zunair Habib a student of A-levels said, “We all get together on the weekends and we find cafes to be a more suitable and comfortable place rather as compared to parks or home. The price of sheesha has increased two folds, and we happily pay whatever price the cafes demand.”
“If the government completely bans sheesha smoking, it will not be difficult for us to arrange our own sheesha. Therefore the government has to take solid steps to stop this activity altogether,” said Zunair.
The flavoured tobacco being used in sheesha and other related stuff is easily available in the market, “so I think the government has been making a fool out of the people by taking half hearted steps in this regard”, he added.
Illays Manj, a resident of Model Town, said his son had started going to sheesha cafés instead of the tuition academy, and he was very worried about him.
“Like us, many other parents are also worried about the health and well-being of their sheesha-smoking children,” he added.
“I appeal to the government to take serious action against owners of cafes selling sheeshas so that future generations could be prevented from becoming drug addicts.”
According to a recent research by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it was estimated that a smoker inhaled half a litre of smoke per cigarette, while a sheesha smoker could take in anything from just under a sixth of a litre to as much as a litre of smoke per inhalation.
Meanwhile, experts at the London-based Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre have found that one session of sheesha smoking resulted in carbon monoxide levels spiking in the blood stream to at least four times more than the amount produced by one cigarette. Furthermore, sharing a sheesha could also expose the users to infections such as herpes and tuberculosis as the water pipe of the sheesha could act as a perfect breeding ground for many kinds of bacteria.
Younis Zahid of the Environment Department said, “We raided many sheesha cafes in the past and have sealed them, while those cafes which were still functioning or operating in different areas of the city would be traced and sealed soon.”

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