… Calls for govt to regulate smoking of popular pipe
By Confidente Reporter
SWAPO Party National Assembly Chief Whip, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele has called on government to regulate the use of hubbly bubbly pipes, because they are spreading diseases like tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and oral herpes, while also damaging the lungs of the country’s youth.
Hubbly bubbly smoking is a craze among Namibia’s young people, especially because there is a perception that the tobacco, mixed with fruit flavours, is less harmful than normal cigarettes or other tobacco products.
The smoking device is also known as hookah, sheesha and water pipe. The sweet flavour and pleasant smell makes it easier to inhale the smoke without coughing.
Speaking during a National Assembly debate recently, while contributing to a motion tabled by Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Lucia Witbooi, !Nawases-Taeyele said that hubbly bubbly pipes are increasingly becoming accessible to youth aged between 18 and 28.
She said that medical research has found that because hubbly bubbly pipes are shared, they are a major contributor to the transmission of diseases such as tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and oral herpes.
She also said that smoking a hubbly bubbly pipe can result in cancer, the low birth weight of babies, asthma attacks and pneumonia.
!Nawases-Taeyele further said that there are widespread perceptions among young people that smoking hubbly bubbly pipes is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, because the smoke passes through water, and that it is not addictive and contains less toxins.
She said that experts have warned that smoking a hubbly bubbly pipe for an hour is as harmful as smoking up to 200 cigarettes.
“In Namibia we have seen hubbly bubbly tobacco being sold in sweet shops and even at fuelling stations, but the fact remains that it is just as dangerous as cigarettes. Also the parent approval rating is high, because the knowledge about this device is deficient. Parents must be informed to take strict action against the public use of this device.”
!Nawases-Taeyele also said that recent smoking trends have indicated that young people also layer dagga in the hubbly bubbly tobacco, and allow it to roast slowly, while inhaling the smoke through the pipe. “Cancers associated with Human papillomavirus (HPV), dagga and hubbly bubbly pipe smoking occurs mostly in young adults. Therefore, it must be registered that these methods of smoking contributes to the spread of oral cancer.”
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