Health hazard: Sheesha banned again, cafe raids begin

Home department banned waterpipe smoking under Section 144.

Noman Ahmed March 26, 2012

KARACHI: Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) has tightened the noose on restaurants serving sheesha, followed by a notification by the home department on Monday.  

According to the KMC commissioner, Roshan Ali Sheikh, KMC raided two places, Damascus and Thali Inn, and confiscated 10 sheeshas.

The home department has banned sheesha under Section 144. However, the issue is not new. In 2009, the Sindh government’s health department issued Statutory Regulatory Order of 2009 which declared all public places to be completely smoke-free. It did not even allow designated smoking areas at work or public places. In May 2010, the Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution against smoking sheesha in restaurants and public places. The government had issued notices to 22 restaurants in June 2011, but then became lax about it.

Meanwhile, the joints had continued to serve sheesha in rude defiance of the official orders issued.

However, this time, Commissioner Sheikh ordered his deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners of all the five districts to crackdown against, not only against the cafes but sheesha smokers as well.

While expressing his gratitude to the provincial government for introducing the ban, Sheikh said that the city administration was already raiding places because of the large number of complaints being received by them from concerned parents, who argued that smoking sheesha was often a precursor to the use of hard drugs. He said that a ‘grand’ operation will be launched later this week, a plan has already been outlined for indiscriminate action against anyone involved in flouting the ban. “We will not to succumb to any pressure whatsoever till all the sheesha joints are closed for good,” he vowed. “This is a serious health hazard as identified by Pakistan Medical Association.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.


JAVAID Ahmed KHAN | 11 years ago | Reply

I read these comments with interest.I have just returned after attending a world congress on Tobacco Or Health held in Singapore.Sheesha and cigarettes are both bad for our health.Unfortunately our goverment is not serious in tobacco control.Two most important measures that the goverment need to take in order to protect the health of its citizen is to implement the ban on smoking(including sheesha) at any public place and to make tobacco products very costly beyond the reach of common man.Such short lasting campaign will not bring fruitful resutls.Similar campaigns were seen few months ago against Gutka sellers.

Abid | 11 years ago | Reply

Research by top doctors in Karachi (AKUH and others) have demonstrated that sheesha is much much more harmful than cigarettes. This action must be welcomed. The least it will do is to create awareness. Most sheesha takers simply think it is harmless or very mild and that is the real danger. Ignorant consumption. Kudos to the govt.

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