Mark tables EDM on the Health effects of Shisha Smoking

(July 05, 2011)

Mark has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons on the issue of Shisha Smoking.

The Early Day Motion entitled 'Health Effects of Shisha Smoking' raises concern about the rising popularity of the 'Shisha' culture and the opening of Shisha bars and cafe's in Preston and other towns and cities across Britain. 

The Shisha or 'hookah' as it is sometimes known is a fruit-scented tobacco which is smoked through an ornate waterpipe.  Shisha bars or cafe's are gaining popularity in the UK particularly amongst young people from ethnic minority groups as an alternative social activity to visiting pubs and nightclubs. 

Many people are unaware of the risks associated with Shisha smoking, wrongly believing it to be safer than cigarette smoking.  But according to the World Health Organisation, a typical one-hour long smoking session involves inhaling 100-200 times volume of smoke inhaled with a single cigarette. The smoke produced by the waterpipe contains high levels of toxic compounds including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals.

Key concerns include the  considerable heath risks associated with Shisha smoking; the increased risk of cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease, tuberculosis and herpes.  The process of burning the charcoal to heat the tobacco is often a fire hazard along with the flammable materials used to decorate the Shisha cafe.

Other concerns are compliance with smokefree legislation, underage purchase and use of tobacco, promotion of tobacco products, illicit, incorrectly labelled and non-duty paid tobacco.

You can read the full text of the Early Day Motion here. The EDM has to date attracted 20 signatures from cross-party MP's.

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