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Concerns as shisha smoking returns to city clubs, five years after it was banned

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About five years since Shisha was banned in the country, it has now emerged that some city nightclubs are selling the substance illegally.

According to the Nairobi County Health Committee a recent survey by the team has established that some joints are selling shisha despite frequent raids by police.

Some areas that the spot check was conducted include posh clubs in Kilimani, Westlands, Kilelshwa and Lavington as well as others in the city centre.

“We have been now concerned about the rate at which shisha smoking is going in the city, the youths are slipping back to stuff which was banned by the government under Tobacco Control Act,” Maurice Ochieng, the Committee chair said.

“We have noted with deep concern that there is laxity in the enforcement so we urge the stakeholders to act with speed before it is too late,” Ochieng added.

The chair, who is also a Mountain View representative, said before the ban it had been established through research that shisha smoking was harmful with traces of cancerous cells and lung infections.

“We give strong warning to the joints that sell this stuff and we urge Nairobi Governor to send the message to such joints and even close them so as to save the youths,” Ochieng added.

In 2017, Kenya implemented a comprehensive ban on shisha, including the use, import, manufacture, sale, offer of sale, advertising, promotion, distribution and encouraging or facilitating its use.

This was after experts warned that a single shisha session was the same as smoking several cigarettes at a go.

Shisha smoking and selling was also said to be encouraging the peddling of hard drugs in Kenya.