Multiple independent studies have proven that smoking one ‘head’ of shisha (the amount of flavored tobacco in the cup) is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes, in regard to tar and nicotine intake.
The sweet smell of the flavored tobacco, and the pleasant bubbling sounds of the water pipe deceptively mask proven health risks.
Research conducted by the BBC indicates also, that shisha users tend to smoke more tobacco in an hour, and too, take the smoke more deeply into their lungs, than a regular cigarette smoker would.
Additionally, there is a mistaken belief that the water in the mechanism filters the smoke to render it comparatively harmless.
Resultantly, he Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) said it was working on restrictive rules in collaboration with the Municipality to ensure no shisha will be served in residential areas or in places near schools and mosques.
“The new rules will be issued new month before they are enforced in the following months … we are taking these measures after we received many complaints from people in residential areas,” said Mohammed Al Saadi, director of the trade registration section at DED.
“We have conducted a study showing the harmful effects of shisha cafes on residents…it showed there is a need to restructure licences for those cafes in residential areas and near mosques and schools…we will of course take into consideration the interests of investors and owners of those cafes but they have to abide by new rules relating to the environment and public health,” he told the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emirate Al Youm.
He said the new rules stipulate that cafes serving shisha would not be given license or have their existing license renewed if they are located in those places, adding all of them would be given enough time to adapt to the new situation.
“After those rules are issued, any café or restaurant seeking to serve shisha must get prior approval from DED and the Municipality … we will send letters to all those places soon asking them to adapt to the new situation.”