Bolton Council has launched a campaign to warn young people of the health dangers associated with shisha pipe smoking.
The campaign, which is being run in partnership by Bolton Council’s Environmental Health and Public Health departments with Bolton Stop Smoking and Bolton CVS, aims to highlight the health problems associated with shisha pipe smoking, as well as warning young people that they can face fines for smoking it.
Shisha, which is a way of smoking fruit flavoured tobacco through a water pipe has become popular amongst young people in recent years. However, a recent World Health Organisation report found that in a typical one hour session, smokers are exposed to 100-200 times the smoke inhaled from a normal cigarette. Sharing a shisha increases the risk of spreading colds, flu, and infectious diseases including oral herpes known as cold sores. Shisha pipe smokers are also at an increased risk of lung cancer and respiratory diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
The council also wants to remind young people that they are breaking the law if they smoke inside an enclosed public place, such as a shisha cafe and that they may be fined up to £50. The businesses themselves may also be fined up to £2,500 for allowing people to smoke inside their premises.
The campaign aims to encourage young people to find out the facts about the health dangers of shisha through visiting a new website www.shishafacts.co.uk . Posters will also be distributed to schools, colleges, mosques, newsagents and taxi operators.
Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, Cabinet Member for Public Health said: “Smoking shisha has become popular amongst young people, but we want them to be aware of all the facts around it and the health problems it can cause. We also want to remind young people that smoking shisha can see them get fined up to £50. We’d like to encourage everyone to visit the website and find out the facts for themselves.”