Joint operation following shisha pipe boom

By on 03/02/2010 in News
shisha pipes

shisha pipes

The rising popularity of shisha pipes in Birmingham and an increase in the number of premises who offer shisha, has led to a joint operation from Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standards officers at Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and HM Customs and Excise.

A shisha pipe (also known as a hookah or nargile pipe) is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking tobacco in which the smoke is cooled and filtered by passing through water.

Officers visited shisha lounges across Birmingham to offer advice on a number of related issues, including; smoke free legislation, underage sales, labelling, means of escape, fire risk assessments and ensuring that duty has been paid on shisha.

Shisha is a sweetened form of tobacco and is becoming increasingly popular throughout Birmingham, resulting in a surge of commercial lounges being set up, where young people socialise and smoke shisha. 

Although the practice of smoking shisha is not illegal, there are particular health concerns linked to this form of smoking. The relative smoothness of waterpipe smoke can make it feel less irritating to the throat, leading to the misconception that it is less harmful to health than cigarette smoke. Shisha smoke still contains tar, carbon monoxide, and nicotine.

Mark Croxford, Head of District Services at Birmingham City Council, says:

We want to make sure that consumers are fully aware of the risks to health. The water in the shisha pipe filters out only a small amount of the carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, and heavy metals found in shisha smoke. The smoothness of shisha smoke may actually encourage deeper inhalation and thus greater exposure to these toxins. There is evidence to suggest that shisha smokers have increased exposure to Carbon Monoxide, with 40 puffs on a shisha pipe being estimated as the equivalent of 2 packs of cigarettes.“

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007  hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

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