Let Nairobians smoke tobacco in shisha pipes

In Summary

• Governor Johnson Sakaja wants to reintroduce a ban on shisha pipes in Nairobi

• The ban was first introduced in 2017 but was never strictly enforced

Governor Johnson Sakaja of Nairobi wants to renew the county's ban on shisha pipes in public premises.

Sakaja may just be capitulating to a vocal section of MCAs but his decision is anti-democratic and removes freedom of choice from Nairobi residents.

Either ban tobacco completely in public places in Nairobi or allow shisha to continue being smoked in designated smoking areas. Shisha is just another way of smoking tobacco - like a pipe or cigar. However the World Health Organisation, which opposes all tobacco consumption, considers shisha a more dangerous way to smoke tobacco.

Tobacco is not good for your health. That is why cigarette packs rightly carry health warnings. But people should still have the choice to smoke if they want to, just like they are allowed to eat too much food or drink too much alcohol.

Shisha, also known as hookah, is banned in Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda but that does not mean it is the right thing to do.

Sakaja should allow Nairobi residents to smoke tobacco in shisha pipes if they want to, so long as it is in designated tobacco smoking zones.

Quote of the day: "The less men think, the more they talk."

The French philosopher was born on January 18, 1689

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