Shisha Smoking use has emerged as a serious health challenge in Pakistan that now stands among the top four countries of the world with a rapid increase in the tobacco market.

According to experts, tobacco kills nearly six million people each year in the world, of which more than 600,000 are dying from passive smoking. In Pakistan, an estimated 40 per cent males and nine Association have estimated that 1,000 to 1,200 school-going children in the age group of 6 to 16 years take up smoking every day in the country.

Effects of Shisha Smoking

Since shisha smoking is been penetrating rapidly in Pakistani social circles and been termed as safe tobacco. Boredom in youth, use of water pipe in leisure activities and peer pressure are identified as the most common reasons for the escalating popularity of waterpipe smoking in Pakistan. The reasons for this rising trend are certain misconceptions that waterpipe smoking is not harmful to health. The knowledge of people, particularly youth regarding the hazards of habitual shisha smoking is alarmingly low and the majority considers the practice to be safer than cigarette smoking.

It has become a fashion and snobbery among our youngsters. It has become a status symbol in our society. Our youngsters take it as a fashion, stress reliever and later they become addicted to it. Shisha smoking is highly prevalent among university students in Pakistan.

Shisha is also known as Hookah, Water pipe and flavoured smoking. It is a popular trend in youngsters in Pakistan and it is the cause of serious health hazards. Many youngsters of school and colleges are going to hang at shisha centres in Pakistan. They think that it is just flavoured smoking but they do not know the reality of shisha it cause many serious diseases. It contains tobacco, molasses’s, fruit odours and tobacco tar and nicotine, which is used to create the natural smell of fruits and tobacco. In Asia, it is common in the Pakistan, India, China, and Bangladesh and Arab countries.

Shisha Smoking

The social hazards of shisha may affect personal life, family and friends. These may reduce working ability and performance.

It causes numerous epidemic and irresistible infection because of pipe sharing. Previously in Pakistan old age, people were smoking hookah and cigarettes, yet now this pattern is quickly increasing in numerous large urban areas of Pakistan. shisha contains numerous metals that are harmful to the body, for example, cobalt, lead, chromium etc. There is an estimation that an ordinary pipe of shisha is equivalent to 20 cigarettes it implies that shisha is multiple times more perilous than a cigarette

There is an estimation that shisha smoking of one hour is equal to 60 cigarettes because it contains carbon monoxide, which is very injurious to the health.  shisha not only cause above-mentioned disease it also cause cancer of the mouth and bladder cancer. The exhaled air from the shisha smoker also causes disease in the nearby persons. Therefore, there is dire need to educate the people about the unhealthy and dangerous effects of the shisha.

The government should rapidly come forward to educate the people about the harmful effects of the shisha because this is the only way by which we can make our young generation safe from this poisonous thing. It is the duty of the government to ban shisha restaurants/cafe.

In Pakistan World Health Organization (WHO) is contributing through high-level strategic advocacy in support of smoke-free policies, providing technical support in the process of drafting tobacco control legislation, advocating for raising tobacco taxes to reduce demand; high-level advocacy in support of strengthening restrictions on tobacco advertising.

Shisha smoking should be included in the existing anti-tobacco campaigns in the country. Lack of action would nurture the already growing practice and might lead it to set firm roots in our society.