Authorities in Cameroon have banned the smoking of shisha pipes, especially among young people who largely patronize it.
Shisha smoking pipes abound in bars and private homes in Cameroon, but authorities say smoking poses a health risk to patrons.
According to the health ministry, about 46% of young Cameroonians smoke the substance – which is typically a mix of tobacco, molasses, glycerine and flavorings.
Doctors have said there is a “misconception” that shishas are not as harmful as cigarettes.
The British Heart Foundation has said that an hour-long shisha session can be the equivalent of smoking more than 100 cigarettes.
“Traditionally shisha tobacco contains cigarette tobacco, so like cigarettes, it contains nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead,” it says.
In recent years shisha has also been banned in Tanzania, and Sudan has done the same but the ban there has been reversed and reintroduced several times since.
Many African countries are struggling to control the abuse of the substance which is fast gaining prominence.
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