More stringent rules have been put in place to regulate the admission to sheesha parlours. Fresh warnings have been issued to all places where sheesha is served, to ensure that children do not inhale the smoke. Individuals, under the age of 18 are strictly not allowed in the smoking section of sheesha parlours.
Graphic warnings on the dangers of smoking will soon be placed on cigarette packets as Bahrain steps up its effort to combat the use of tobacco. They include horrific images caused by smoking such as the deterioration of the organs and harmful effects on pregnant women, which will also be placed on sheesha tobacco packs.
The new decision will be effective from August 9 and no imports without the image will be allowed into the country. Retailers will also be given six months to get rid of their existing stock, said Health Ministry primary care and public health assistant under-secretary Dr Mariam Al Jalahma.
Furthermore, Health Ministry officials have stated that “Ramadan sheesha tents that allow in minors will face fines or even closure”. They added, “Action will also be taken against hotel tents that host private functions, offering sheesha to customers in the presence of non-smokers,”
American Mission Hospital (AMH) anti-smoking clinic head and general practitioner Dr Babu Ramachandran has reiterated that sheesha smoking is in fact more harmful than cigarettes. “In a single sheesha session, smokers inhale 200 times more smoke than from one cigarette,. In addition to the tobacco, the foil used for sheesha is also liable to cause cancer. People also share sheesha pipes and this can transmit communicable diseases."
“Sheesha smoking can lead to nicotine addiction, oral cancer, lung and heart disease, miscarriages in pregnant women and low birth weight babies.”
Dr Ramachandran said the best way to quit sheesha smoking was to avoid places where it was being served because unlike cigarettes it wasn't easy to walk and smoke it.
Bahrain Anti-Smoking Society member Dr Kadhem Al Hawaji said that smoking sheesha was in many ways more harmful than cigarette smoking.
He said in an average session of sheesha smoking, which is between 20 minutes and 80 minutes, a person would have smoked the equivalent of 100 cigarettes.
"Sheesha is more harmful, the quantity of tobacco is more than 100 cigarettes and the coal, mo'ssal (tobacco mix) and aluminium when it is burned are added chemicals," said Dr Al Hawaji