Former Nacada chairman John Mututho has challenged the government to emulate Rwanda and ban the use of shisha. Mututho said the number of youth addicted to the drug across the country is on the rise, saying pipe sharing could lead to the spread of infectious diseases like tuberculosis and hepatitis. He said shisha plays a potential role as a gateway to other addictive substances such as bhang and heroin. Mututho said a study carried out by the University of Nairobi found out that shisha had traces of opiates.
Opiates covers a huge variety of drugs, ranging from legal drugs such as fentanyl, codeine, and morphine to illegal drugs such as heroin and opium. According to the report, effects of smoking shisha are similar to those of smoking tobacco. Two weeks ago, the Rwandan government banned the use, advertisement and importation of shisha, saying it is addictive, dangerous and damaging to humans. The former Naivasha MP said there is need for public education on the effects of drugs and substance abuse. He said the Tobacco Control Act, 2007, provided for protection of the health of persons under the age of 18 years by preventing their access to tobacco products.