Puff puff pass game is over! Shisha ban reinforced

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Are you a shisha lover? Maybe you thought the government had forgotten about the shisha ban made last year but I hate to be the one to tell you this, the ban is still on and this time, the government could be serious about it.

The government has now directed all public health officers across the country to ensure the ban on shisha smoking imposed last year is effectively enforced. According to Director of Public Health Kepha Ombacho, shisha smoking is still rampant at various entertainment joints despite the ban still being in force.

Dr. Ombacho directed the county health officers to ensure the restriction on smoking in public places is also enforced.


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“A spotcheck in major towns reveals that shisha smoking is still rampant in social joints. Further to this, it has also been noted with concern that smoking in public places is also on the increase,” reads the notice.

“You are required therefore, to move with speed and enforce the shisha ban together with the Tobacco Control Act CAP 245A.”

Last year, the Ministry of Health banned importation, manufacture, sale, promotion and advertisement of shisha in the country.

“Any person who contravenes any provisions of these rules [Control of Smoking Shisha Rules, 2017] may, where a penalty has not been expressly provided for under any provision of the Act, be liable to the penalty contemplated under Section 163 of the [Public Health] Act,” reads a Special Gazette notice dated December 28, 2017 signed by then Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopha Mailu.

“Where no penalty is expressly provided for such offence, offenders are “liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh.50,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both and, if the offence, contravention or default is of a continuing nature, to a further fine not exceeding Ksh.1, 000 for each day it continues.”


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According to Dr. Mailu, the decision to ban shisha was based on the greater public interest of protecting and enforcing public health from harmful effects and practices associated with shisha consumption.

“The ban is purely driven by public health interest which is the golden thread that runs through all the laws cited,” adds Mailu.

Dr. Mailu noted that from available statistics, the use of shisha has revealed severe acute and chronic health effects on consumers and exposed non consumers.


Do you think that the government will be able to ban shisha in the country?

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