Rwanda has banned smoking of an increasingly popular pastime, water-pipe tobacco, popularly known as “shisha”.
In a statement dated 14 December 2017, Rwanda’s minister of health, Dr Diane Gashumba stated “the use, advertisement and import of water-pipe tobacco smoking known as shisha tobacco is banned on Rwanda territory effective from 15th December 2017”. The statement threatened sanctions for failure to comply with the ban. Rwanda cited advice of the World Health Organisation to justify the ban on water-pipe smoking.
Rwanda becomes the second country in Africa to ban shisha smoking after Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli imposed the ban in July last year. Other countries with similar bans are Pakistan, Jordan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
World Health Organisation (WHO), in a recent advisory note to regulators, revealed that smoking shisha posed grave health risks.
In a single session, it said, shisha smokers can inhale smoke of 100 or more cigarettes.