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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Shisha Vs Cigarette: Which kills more?

Shisha Vs Cigarette: Which kills more?

That shisha is less harmful than cigarettes is a myth, says Dr. Ziyad Mahfoud, Associate Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q).

WCMC-Q recently held a community health forum at its campus where Dr. Mahfoud spoke about ‘The Health Risks of Smoking Shisha: Facts and Fiction’.

In a press release issued by the university, the doctor pointed out that just as cigarettes, smoking shisha leads to cancer, respiratory illnesses, periodontal diseases, and low birth weight.

“There is a misconception that it is less harmful than cigarettes due to its fruit content and water filtering and it has growing social acceptability compared to cigarettes, especially among women and youth,” he said.

“Tobacco use and tobacco smoke produced during shisha smoking contain similar toxic substances and known carcinogens; generally in stronger concentrations than found in cigarette smoking. The charcoal and aluminium foil used in burning the tobacco produce high levels of carbon monoxide andheavy metals that are also dangerous to health.”

In an earlier article, JustHere provided a comparison of the toxin content between shisha and cigarettes. Click here to read the full report.

Anti-tobacco laws

The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) in March had mentioned about a new draft law on tobacco consumption in Qatar that will be issued soon once approved by the Cabinet. Last year too, the SCH announced a similar law that would ban the operation of shisha joints in residential areas and neareducational institutes, which doesn’t seem to have been implemented yet. Meanwhile, the Central Municipal Council had also called for a ban last year on allowing people less than 21 years of age to shisha joints, and also cited the ‘special cabins’ reserved for women in cafés selling shisha as a leading cause for women to engage in this dangerous trend.

Do you think a stricter ban on smoking shisha has to be implemented in Qatar?


  1. Robby

    I am a non-smoker and second hand smoke really gets on to my nerves, having said that; I don’t think an outright ban is a good idea without first having a strong (I mean really strong and visible) anti-smoking campaign. It’s 4 years since I am in Qatar and I don’t see / have not seen any major vocal anti-smoking campaign. I guess the anti-smoking lobby should first make a noise (real noise) about the ill effects of smoking and maybe then if that proves a failure a ban may be the only way ahead. But, an outright ban at this stage makes no sense. Ban something and people will want it more.

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