MMA wants shisha ban widened
By Masami Mustaza
By Masami Mustaza
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association yesterday called for the shisha to be banned from local council premises following Kota Baru Municipal Council's decision to stop their use in eateries.
Amran Yusof feels that cigarettes should also be banned.
MMA president Dr David Quek said the shisha -- a blend of tobacco, molasses and flavouring smoked with a pipe -- should be banned in as many council premises as possible to help reduce the spread of tobacco addiction.
He noted that the World Health Organisation announced in 2007 that one session of shisha smoking would yield a nicotine intake equivalent to more than one pack of cigarettes.
Dr Quek said more eateries and other outlets allowing the smoking of shisha had been springing up in urban areas.
"We are not sure if they need a licence to operate, but restrictions should be applied, such as no smoking indoors. Youths should not be misled that this is safe or trendy because it isn't."
He added that once the smoking of tobacco in any form started at an early age, many would become addicted to the habit, which would bring about health complications, such as heart disease and cancer.
"Perhaps, we must highlight the health dangers of shisha with the same graphic warnings for tobacco products. Imposing higher taxes on shisha is also useful in getting this out of the reach of the young."
Bernama reported yesterday that the council had banned all food outlets from allowing shisha smoking with immediate effect.
Its secretary Mohd Anis Hussein said action would be taken against outlets that did not heed the ban.
National Fatwa Council chairman Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said the council had yet to come to a decision whether to impose a ruling to ban shisha smoking.
He said the council was researching on the content of shisha to determine if it was harmful to users.