The Nigerian government, specifically the Ministry of Health wants to start arresting shisha smokers.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday to mark the World No-Tobacco day, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, implored law enforcement agencies to arrest persons who were violating the government’s ban on flavoured tobacco products, and its most popular Nigerian iteration, shisha.
To justify this, the Minister referred to a ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products. Adewole claimed that these products were targeted at the youth and could be as dangerous as cigarettes.
This approach to reducing the consumption of shisha is not a one-off. When it comes to dealing with perceived vices among the youth, the Nigerian government’s first weapon is, more often than not, a ban, complete with threats of arrest and a jail term.
Shisha tobacco and smoke contain numerous toxic substances known to cause lung, bladder, and oral cancers. A typical one-hour session of hookah smoking exposes the user to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.