Dubai: Authorities are taking an extra step to ensure the wellbeing of residents, and have banned the sale of shisha during iftars.
Ajman Municipality announced that shisha will not be offered in Ramadan tents from the time that visitors break their fast, and will continue until 9pm.
The move comes days after Dubai Municipality confirmed that it will also implement a similar rule to ban shishas in all restaurants, coffee shops and Ramadan tents. In Dubai, residents will only be served shisha after 9pm.
Khaled Al Hosani, executive director of the public health and environment section at Ajman Municipality, said: “Any organisation that wants to install a Ramadan tent and offer food should first acquire approval from the Public Health Department, who will confirm if the meals are safe for human consumption.”
He also pointed out that Ramadan tents will now be limited to serving food and beverages, and requested all establishments to adhere to the new rules.
“We have permanently banned the sale of shisha from iftar time until 9pm, in accordance with Federal Law number 15 of 2009,” he said, adding that the ban was implemented to ensure the health and safety of the public.
Dangers of shisha and dokha
The American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently carried out research on a number of popular shisha charcoals and dokha tobacco.
Dokha is a traditional Arabic tobacco usually mixed with herbs and spices for the medwakh, a slender, six-inch-long pipe that is commonly used among young Arabs.
The results showed that both products contained metal traces such as iron, lead, cadmium, chromium, cobalt and manganese at concentrations similar to, if not higher than, cigarettes.
According to a 2005 study by the UN World Health Organisation (WHO), shisha smoke has high concentrations of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, cancer-causing chemicals and potentially addictive levels of nicotine.
Cigarette smokers usually take around eight to 12 puffs over a course of five to seven minutes, inhaling a total of 0.5 to 0.6 of a litre of smoke.
In contrast, shihsa sessions typically usually last 20-80 minutes, during which the smoker may take 50-20 puffs which each range from 0.15 to one litre.