All shisha joints in Nairobi will now have to get a licence before being allowed to operate, the county government has directed.
The County Alcoholic Drinks Control Board will partner with the County Inter Agency Committee to conduct surveillance and inspection of all shisha joints to curb the rising number of people hooked on it.
Through a statement circulated to newsrooms, the regulators said it was alarming that despite the Ministry of Health and National Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) banning 19 flavours of shisha last year, the number of users continues to soar.
"The Government has a responsibility to protect the growing number of youths hooked to this practice. Any joint found selling the banned flavours will be closed and proprietors prosecuted," warned the county government.
Further, the county government has warned the public to desist from consuming any of the banned flavours, saying they risk being apprehended and prosecuted for defying last year's directive.
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The 19 flavours that were banned after being found to have been laced with drugs like heroin, cocaine and marijuana include Al Fakher flavours such as strawberry, orange, apple, vanilla, guava and orange mint. Others on the list are formulated kuber, Nakhala molasses tobacco, apple flavour and formulated shisha cocktail.
The county administration also reminded users of related dangers of smoking shisha such as cancer and heart failure.