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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2010 10:54

 This Article was put up on my blog quite sometime back

Shisha 'as harmful as cigarettes' 
By Perminder Khatkar
BBC Asian Network 

Shisha is an Arabic water-pipe in which fruit-scented tobacco is burnt
Smoking a shisha pipe is as bad for people as smoking tobacco, the Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre has found.
People who smoke shisha, or herbal tobacco, can suffer from high carbon monoxide levels, its research revealed.
It found one session of smoking shisha resulted in carbon monoxide levels at least four to five times higher than the amount produced by one cigarette.
High levels of carbon monoxide can lead to brain damage and unconsciousness.
Shisha is a water-pipe, popular in many Arab countries, in which fruit-scented tobacco is burnt using coal, passed through an ornate water vessel and inhaled through a hose.
The Department of Health said it was difficult to know exactly how much carbon monoxide one cigarette produced, due to the differences in smokers' inhalations.
Normal level: 3 ppm
Light smoker: 10-20 ppm
Heavy smoker 30-40 ppm
Faulty boiler/fire levels: Upwards of 100 ppm
Severe symptoms: 100 ppm
Lethal levels: More than 300 ppm
But measuring carbon monoxide in exhaled breath showed a normal non-smoker's level to be three parts CO per million parts of air (ppm) (less than 1% of blood not working properly), a light smoker to have 10-20 ppm (2-4% of blood not working properly), and a heavy smoker 30-40 ppm (5-7%).
The study found shisha smokers had 40-70 ppm of CO in their breath - affecting 8-12% of their blood.
Dr Hilary Wareing, director of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre, told the BBC's Asian Network she was shocked by the results of the research.
"Our mouths opened at the level of harm - none of the tests we did showed anything other than shisha is hazardous to health."
Paul Hooper, regional manager at the Department of Health, said the findings made the dangers of shisha a "major issue".
He said many people regard shisha "as not even smoking".
Shisha bars, which are typically decked out with low stools and soft cushions to create an inviting atmosphere, have become popular in cities across the UK, particularly in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

  At the worst, shisha was 400 to 450 times more dangerous than having a cigarette
Dr Hilary Wareing
Tobacco Control Collaboration Centre
An activity largely associated with Middle Eastern customers and a young crowd, there is a growing trend of themed shisha parties.
Many people who go to "shisha evenings" think it is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.
"You never see it in the news - 'that is terrible, don't do it' - there's no shock tactics like (there is with) cigarettes," said one young woman.
"If my mum sees me smoking shisha, she isn't going to take it as seriously as if I was smoking cigarettes," said a British Pakistani man.
It was this misconception - and finding dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in a pregnant woman who had stopped smoking tobacco, but continued to smoke shisha - which prompted the research.
"We found one session of smoking shisha - that's 10 milligrams (of fruit tobacco) for 30 minutes - gave carbon monoxide levels that were at the lowest four and five times higher than having a cigarette," said Dr Wareing.
"But at the worst, shisha was 400 to 450 times more dangerous than having a cigarette," she added.
Informed choice

Edgware Road is home to a large number of shisha cafes or hookah bars
Shisha smokers in a cafe in Edgware Road, London, said the findings would make them think twice about smoking.
"You know you can die from cigarettes, but you don't know you can die from shisha," said one.
"I'm now going home to research it," said another.
But not everyone is convinced.
Akram, a 27-year-old who runs a restaurant and shisha bar in Birmingham, has his own views.
"There is a health risk but it's all down to consumption and all the evidence I've seen is that smoking shisha is nothing like smoking even one cigarette," he said.
He said he did not actually inhale shisha smoke.
It is not just the level of carbon monoxide that is causing concern.
Qasim Choudhory, a youth worker at the NHS Stop Smoking Service in Leicester, said sharing a shisha pipe could pass around infections.
"There's a heightened risk of getting TB, herpes and infections like that," she said.
"Now you know swine flu is on the top of the agenda right now - there's no kind of direct correlation, but at time when we're up on our hygiene, it's not the best type of activity to be taking part in."
Dr Wareing said more research on exactly how dangerous shisha was needed to be conducted to enable people to make an informed choice.
Paul Hooper said the department was working hard at "how best to get the message - that it is dangerous - across to the consumer".
"But how do you label the tobacco and the shisha pipe? It's not as simple as labelling a packet of cigarettes," he added.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2010 11:02
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2010 12:08
The Evils Of Smoking

Since the first discovery of tobacco was made in America in the fifteenth century, the epidemic of smoking has spread continuously around the world. As early as the Seventeenth Century, the European countries realised the dangers of smoking and hastened to ordain Laws in England and various other countries to prohibiting smoking. The Western countries, even today, continue their attempts in combating smoking. They employ means of media, pass legislation and apply multiple methods to discourage people from smoking.

Smoking has, to an extent, become the rule and abstaining from it the exception. Often, people look down with astonishment and contempt at a person who when a cigarette is offered to him, declines explaining that he does not smoke. Offering cigarettes to guests has become a matter of hospitality!

Furthermore, those who pretend to represent the Deen are among the worst addicts. When they are reproached or reprimanded of their vice, they respond by providing weak excuses to justify it. They slyly remark that there is no clear text prohibiting smoking. Whereby they conclude that smoking is not prohibited, but is only makruh (disliked). In this manner they provide a poor excuse for the ignorant and establish a bad example for others.

Thus, it has become necessary to write an article which provides evidence regarding the ruling of smoking in Islam. We hope that this will benefit our Muslim brothers and sisters; and we ask Allah Ta'ala to accept it from us as a sincere deed for His pleasure.

Smoking refers to the act of lighting tobacco or materials of similar effect, which is then sucked on with the lips to extract smoke. This smoke is inhaled into the chest and then exhaled from the nose and mouth. "Smoking", is now used to refer to the action of producing this smoke in English, Arabic, and other languages.

There are many reasons, any one of which are sufficient, to rule smoking as prohibited. Most importantly, it is harmful to the Deen, health, environment, family, brotherhood and social relations, property, etc.

Smoking damages a person's act of worship, and reduces their rewards. For instance, it ruins the salaah, which is a pillar of Deen. The Prophet May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him said: 'Whoever eats garlic or onion, let him avoid us and our masjid, and stay in his home. The angels are surely hurt by things that hurt the human beings.' (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Those people, with clean and pure nature, have no doubt that the smell emanating from the mouth of a smoker is worse and more foul than that from the mouth of one who ate garlic or onion. Therefore, a smoker has two options, either to harm the praying people and the angels with his foul smell, or abstain from the prayer with jama'ah.

Smoking also ruins fasting. Fasting becomes very hard on the smoker. As soon as the day is over, he hastens to break his fast on an evil cigarette instead of sweet dates or pure water. Even if he fasts throughout the month of Ramadhaan he will be reluctant to fast on other days. Thus he loses the great reward of those who fast even one day in Allah's path.

The harm that smoking does to the human body is undeniable. The medical evidence for this is well established and overwhelming. Because of this, the law in the United Kingdom and many other countries requires including a government health warning on the packet and on any advertisement.

Smoking contains poisonous materials, such as nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, arsenic, benzopyrene, etc., which the smoker inhales in small proportions. Their harm accumulates in time, resulting in a gradual damage of the human organs and tissues.

The hazards of smoking to health are hard to count. Cancer, tuberculosis, heart attacks, asthma, coughing, premature birth, infertility, infections in the digestive system, high blood pressure, nervousness, mouth and teeth diseases, etc., are among the many health hazards that have been strongly linked to smoking.

These diseases may not all appear at once, but a smoker runs the risk of suffering from some of them, and his suffering increases as he grows older. Furthermore, statistics have established that smokers, on the average, reduce their age by ten years.

This in itself is sufficient to prohibit smoking. Islam prohibits any action that causes harm to oneself or to other people. Allah Ta'ala says :

'Do not kill yourselves, Allah is indeed merciful to you.'
(An-Nisa' 4-29)

'Do not cast yourselves, with your own hands, into destruction.'
(Al-Baqarah 2:195)

And the Messenger May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him says: 'No harm may be inflicted on oneself or others.'
(Ahmad and Ibn Maajah from Ibn Abbaas and Ubaadah)

'The feet of a human being will not depart, on the day of Judgement, from his standing before his Lord, until he is questioned about five things: his lifetime - how did he pass it, his youth - how did he used it, his wealth - where did he earn it and how did he spend it, and how did he follow what he knew.'
(At-Tirmithi and others from Ibn Mas'ud and Abu Barzah )

'Whoever consumes poison, killing himself with it, then he will he consuming his poison in the hellfire, and he will abide in it permanently and eternally.'
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim from Jaabir)

Smoking is also harmful to the human mind and its power to reason. An obvious demonstration of this is that one who is addicted to it passes through periods of severe craving, making it hard for him to think, concentrate, solve a problem, or do any important matter, until he smokes.

His digestive system is also affected, causing him frequent nervousness and trembling of the hands. He passes through periods of excitability and he becomes an insomniac.

Therefore, instead of being the slave of Allah, a smoker becomes a slave to his cigarette. The faculty of reason, clear and unobstructed, is one of Allah's great bounties on people. Allah Ta'ala has praised it in numerous places of the Qura'an; and He called on people to use it to see the truth and obey Him in a better way. Allah wants of the believer to be strong and capable of controlling the reigns of his desires. He has stated:

'Allah wants to let you into His mercy, whereas those who follow the desires want you to drift far away (from the right path).'
(An-Nisa 4:27)

A smoker also emits his poison in the faces of his companions, wife, children, and the environment. It is a well-established fact that passive smoking is almost as dangerous as first-hand. Thus, whether they like it or not, a smoker's associates are forced to inhale the smoke and be inflicted with this poison as well.

In addition to the poison normally carried in the smoke, if a smoker has a contagious disease, such as tuberculosis or influenza, his exhaled smoke and coughing will also carry the disease to those around him.

Furthermore, a smoker regularly irritates people by the foul smell and poisonous nature of his smoking. If they suffer from asthma or allergies, they are forced to move away from his vicinity. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbour.

Thus, smoking constitutes a definite harm to other people; this is prohibited, as was indicated in the Hadith cited earlier.

Also, a smoker is certainly a bad companion to sit with, as is depicted in the following Hadith:

Verily, the example of a good companion and a bad one is like that of a perfume merchant and a blacksmith: As for the perfume merchant, he would either grant you (some perfume), or you would buy (some perfume) from him, or (in the least) you would get a good smell from him. And as for the blower of the bellows (ironsmith), you would either get a foul odour from him, or he would burn your clothes.
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

A smoker wastes his wealth on that which harms and has no benefit; he will be asked about his wealth and how he spent it, as has been cited in the Hadith earlier. His wealth belongs to Allah, so how would he dare to waste it in disobedience to Him Allah Ta'ala states(what means):

'And do not entrust to the imprudent ones the possessions that Allah has placed in your charge.'
(An-Nisa 4:5)

'And do not waste (your resources) extravagantly. Indeed the squanderers are the brethren of the devils.'
(Al-lsra' 17:26-27)

And the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: Allah hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, and wasting money.
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Furthermore, there are numerous cases of carpets, furniture, and even complete houses and establishments burning down due to this disastrous vice.

Smoking is a form of moral decadence. It is spread mostly among the low-class, immoral people. It reflects blind imitation of the Kuffar and non-pious Muslims. It is mostly consumed in bars, discos, casinos, and other places of sin. A smoker may beg or steal if he does not have the money to buy cigarettes. He is ill mannered with his friends and family, especially when he misses taking his necessary "dose" at the usual time.

Smoking involves the consumption of an evil substance (khabeeth). It has a foul smell, foul taste and is harmful to the body. This is sufficient to prohibit it, because Allah Ta'ala states (what means):

'(The Prophet May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right, forbid them the doing of what is wrong, make lawful to them the good things of life, prohibit for them the evil things, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were (previously) upon them.'
(Al-A'raf 7:157)

A smoker inhales smoke that does not give him any nourishment. This is similar to the action of the people of the Hell fire who eat harmful thorny plants:

'No food will be there for them but a poisonous thorny plant, which will neither nourish them nor still their hunger.'

(Al-Ghaashiyah 88:6-7)

A smoker, whether he likes it or not, makes an example of himself for his children and others to follow. He leads them to commit this evil. Actions sometimes have a stronger effect than words. Thus, even if he advises them or forbids them from smoking, his partaking of it provides them with a strong excuse to do it.

The problem is worse when the smoker is of known piety or knowledge. In such case, his harm becomes more emphasised, because more people take him as guide and example and are thus lead astray by him. This multiplies his sins and increases his burden.

The majority of good people avoid smoking and stay away from smokers. Therefore, a smoker would be forced to stay away from them - at least while he smokes. He puts himself in selective exile, creating a spiritual distance and hostility between him and the good people, and a closeness to the evil people. The effects of this become more apparent and acute with time. Note that this applies equally to any sin that a person commits either large or small.

A smoker despises himself, because he feels that a little cigarette is controlling him. Realising his weakness due to his desire, this creates in him a feeling of defeat in the face of hardships.

Since smoking became known to Muslims, all of the great scholars who have the capability of Ijtihad (deriving verdicts in new situations) agree to its prohibition. Thus, there is no value for baseless opinions, conflicting with this, provided by self-proclaimed lesser scholars.

In discussing the subject of the prohibition of smoking, there are some important warnings that need to be mentioned:

1. As indicated before, the prohibition of smoking is not restricted to cigarettes, but applies as well to other objects that have similar effects such as cigars, pipes, water-pipes, chewing tobacco or sniffing tobacco, etc.

2. The reasons mentioned above for prohibiting smoking apply as well, and more strongly, to various types of drugs such as hashish marijuana and ecstasy. These materials have additional problems such as causing drunkenness, death, madness, etc.

3. The prohibition of smoking is not restricted to consuming it, but applies as well to offering it to people, sitting with those who are smoking, or selling it. All of this involves helping people commit sins, which is prohibited, as Allah Ta'ala states (what means):

'Help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sinning and transgression. And fear and revere Allah; verily, Allah is severe in punishment.

(Al-Maidah 5:2)

Also, Allah's Messenger said: Indeed when Allah prohibits something, he prohibits eating its price.
(Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

Only few of those addicted to smoking are able to stop it. The reasons for this are many, among which are the following:

(a). The addictive nature of the poisonous substances contained in it.

(b). The smokers are not totally convinced of its prohibition.

(c). They do not have a strong determination to refrain from it.

The following are some suggestions to help a person stop smoking:

1. Rely on Allah sincerely, with full determination not to return to smoking, in compliance with Allah's command:

'When you decide on a certain course of action, place your trust in Allah.'
(Al-lmran 3:159)

2. Stop immediately instead of claiming it is best to do it gradually. The gradual approach is the way of one who does not trust his determination and the will power that Allah has granted him. Let the example be taken from the Sahabah who, as soon as Allah's command reached them regarding alcohol:

'Will you not then desist?' (Al-Maa'idah 5:91) they immediately poured out all the alcohol that they had and said, "We desist our Lord, we desist!" They did this despite the fact that alcohol has a greater addictive power over those who drink it.

3. Avoid the bad company of smokers and smoking environments that are full with the smell of smoke.

4. Change the food diet by abstaining from foods and drinks that would entice the craving to smoke such as spices, meat, tea, and coffee; and eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.

5. Use medically tested and established procedures to help stop smoking, as directed by physicians, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc.

6. Expel the secret whispers of Satan who continuously dictates to the human being that he is weak and incapable of refraining from sinning, as Allah Ta'ala states (what means):

'It is but Satan who instils (into you) fear of his allies; so do not fear them, but fear Me if you are (truly) believers.'

'Fight then against the allies of Satan; indeed, Satan's guile is weak.'

[A studen of Darul Uloom, Bury]
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 30th March 2011 12:45
Shisha Smoking....

"There is a massive misconception that shisha smoking isn't as harmful as cigarette smoking. In fact research by the World Health Organization has shown an average pipe smoking session of around an hour is equivalent to smoking up to 200 cigarettes."
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 31st March 2011 19:14
assalamualaikum dear brother,i would like to know if this article has been checked and approved ?and if not,did u get that from a trusted site?
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 31st March 2011 19:17

Walaykum Salaam.

Which part of the of the article are you questioning.

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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 1st April 2011 09:16
on the first article
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 1st April 2011 09:55
The article is from (as it says),

The Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre.

I'm sure that if it was not checked and verified by other scientists, it would not have appeared on the BBC News.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 1st April 2011 11:31
i wont take everything on the Beeb as fact. the link i pasted above, after pasting in it i googled the report and im sure i read "100 ciggies" not "200 ciggies" as cited by the Beeb ;-(
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 1st April 2011 11:44

Praise be to Allaah.


There is no doubt that smoking is one of the worst poisons that many people are very keen to consume, not caring about the diseases that it causes, which lead to death in many cases. The World Health Organisation stated, in its 2008 report, that smoking tobacco kills 5.4 million people every year, i.e., approximately 14,000 people every day. Unless urgent measures are taken, tobacco will kill ten million people annually by the year 2020.

It is haraam to cultivate, deal in and consume this evil plant.


The tobacco – as well as jiraak (something similar to tobacco) and mu‘assal (mild, flavoured tobacco) – which are smoked in the shisha are no different from regular cigarette tobacco that is rolled up in papers; in fact it contains bad ingredients that are not found in cigarettes. It says on the website of the Bahrain Anti-Smoking Society:

Components of shisha:

These components are no different from the components of cigarette tobacco and its smoke, as it contains no less than four thousand toxic substances, the most significant of which are: nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, heavy metals, radioactive substances, carcinogens, agricultural chemicals, insecticides and many other toxic substances.

Some tobacco companies claim that all or most of the tar is removed from shisha tobacco. A number of flavouring substances, the components of which are not known, are also added to shisha tobacco, the extent of the harmful effects of which we do not know. What is said about smoking by means of the shisha or narghileh with tobacco or jiraak or mu‘assal being free of danger is not true at all. A four-year study in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has proven that mu‘assal is in fact pure tobacco with a large amount of dyes, colours and flavourings that have been mixed without any attention to health regulations, and it proved that it causes various kinds of disease and cancer.

Jiraak contains 15% tobacco, mixed with honey, fruits and chemical additives that are cooked and fermented.

End quote.


Some naive people think that consuming this plant by means of the arghileh or shisha is permissible (halaal), because the smoke passes through the water of the arghileh pipe. But this is far from correct. Experts say:

1. One session of smoking the arghileh is equivalent to smoking at least ten cigarettes.

2. Partial burning of the mu‘assal increases the toxic substances in the arghileh.

3. Use of the arghileh by a number of people increases the transmission of contagious diseases between them.

4. Water does not filter out the toxic carcinogenic substances contained in arghileh tobacco.

On the website of the Bahrain Anti-Smoking Society it says:

Many people believe that smoking shisha is less serious than smoking cigarettes, because of the prevalent belief that when the smoke passes through the water in the shisha pipe, it removes harmful substances from the smoke and thus reduces the harm that results from smoking shisha. The error of this notion has been proven by means of analysing the smoke that comes out of the mouth of the shisha smoker, which has been shown to contain the same harmful and carcinogenic substances that are present in cigarette smoke.

Studies have also proven that smoking shisha:

1. Causes addiction

2. Reduces lung function and causes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which limits the person’s ability to engage in any physical exertion.

3. It leads to cancer of the lung, mouth, oesophagus and stomach.

4. It leads to a high concentration of carbon monoxide in the blood.

5. It leads to a decrease in fertility in both males and females.

6. It contributes to an increase in the spread of pulmonary tuberculosis in shisha users.

7. In women who smoke shisha during pregnancy, it leads to lower birth weight in the foetus; it also exposes the foetus to respiratory disease in the future or to sudden crib death after birth.

8. Offensive odours are spread when exhaling and on one’s clothing. And it has other effects such as making the voice hoarse, causing reddening in the eyes, and leading to the appearance of wrinkles in the skin and face, especially at an early age.

9. This is in addition to the fact that smoking shisha is regarded as one of the primary contaminants of air in homes and near coffee shops where there are a large number of smokers.

End quote from the website.

Hence the prohibition of using tobacco by means of the arghileh or shisha is definite.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the difference between smoking a regular, rolled-up cigarette and smoking jiraak in the shisha and so on.

The shaykh (may Allah have mercy on him) responded by stating that smoking is haraam, then he said:

Once this is proven, it makes no difference whether it is smoked in a regular cigarette or by some other means, such as this foul shisha, and whether the tobacco is smoked in a pure form or mixed with other things like the jiraak. It is still mixed an evil mix. Names do not change facts; if something haraam is mixed with something else, it is still haraam. In the hadeeth it says: “At the end of time there will be people who drink alcohol and call it by some other name.” [Narrated by Ahmad] Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (12/90)

Shisha, narghileh and smoking are all evil actions and are haraam, because of the harm they cause to one’s body and wealth. Allah, may He be exalted, said, describing our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “he allows them as lawful at-Tayyibaat (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), and prohibits them as unlawful al-Khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods).” [al-A‘raaf 7:157]. It is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There should be neither harm nor reciprocating harm.” So it is not permissible to use these things or to sell them or to distribute them.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 26/351

And Allah knows best.


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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 1st April 2011 11:59

Asslamo Allaikum All,

THE MYTHS: Common misconcptions about Shisha/Huka:

  1. That the nicotine content is lower that that of cigarettes;
  2. That the water filters out all the toxins;
  3. That it less harmful to the throat and respiratory tract than cigarette smoking;
  4. That fewer carcinogens are produced because the tobacco is heated rather than burned;
  5. That as fruits and honey are added to the tobacco, it is therefore healthy.

THE FACTS: Scientifically proven Harms of Shisha/Huka:

  1. Using a waterpipe to smoke tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
  2. A typical 1 hour-long waterpipe smoking session involves inhaling 100 – 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled with a single cigarette.
  3. Even after it has passed through water, the smoke produced by a waterpipe contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monxice, heavy metals and cancercausing chemicals.
  4. Commonly used heatsources that are applied to burn the tobacco, such as charcoal or wood cinders, are likely to increase the health risks, because when such fuels are combusted they produce their own toxicants, including high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and cancer-causing chemicals.
  5. Pregnant women and the foetus are particularly vulnerable when exposed either actively or involuntarily to the waterpipe smoke toxicants.
  6. Second-hand smoke from waterpipes is a mixture of tobacco smoke in addition to smoke from the fuel and therefore possesses a serious risk for non-smokers.

BRIEFING PAPER 3: Sheeha Smoking

FATWA: It is HARAM to smoke Sheesha!

Many of our innocent Brothers & Sisters believe that its Makrooh to use Sheesha but the fact is that its HARAM!

In simpler words you can eat BACON or SMOKE SHEESHA or DRINK ALCOHOL and they are all the same in terms of a sin i.e. HARAM!

There is no fun in HARAM

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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 1st April 2011 12:03

"Muadh_Khan" wrote:

FATWA: It is HARAM to smoke Sheesha!

Nuff said

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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd January 2012 02:06

It's high time to ban shisha smoking

By SADIYAH MUHANDIS | ARAB NEWS Published: Jan 2, 2012 01:17 Updated: Jan 2, 2012 01:17

Shisha smoking has become a widespread habit among various sections of Saudi society.

A large number of elders are now addicts of Shisha while young adults are very much fond of smoking it. Shisha is being served at most public places, including parks, gardens, and beach cabins, as well as at restaurants and coffee shops.

Even though smoking was banned in public places, shisha was available at some of these places.

There is a general tendency to earn profit by marketing most of goods at places where people gather in large numbers such as beaches and public parks.

Shisha is one among these goods that people want to have while they are out for leisure and relaxation. Even those who are keen to avoid smoking cigarettes as something injurious to health see no harm in having a few puffs of shisha.

They even allow their children to share shisha with them while they spend weekend holidays at public places. Even those who do not smoke shisha have become victims of its passive smoking while they are out for relaxation at public places.

It is noteworthy that a number of countries have enacted legislation to ban all types of smoking, including shisha at public places. It is high time for the Kingdom also to introduce such legislation against shisha smoking.

While speaking to Arab News, a number of men and women representing various age groups of the Saudi society stressed this point. They voiced their resentment over this habit, which is becoming a grave phenomenon.

They underlined the need for intensifying inspections and monitoring at public places to prevent all types of smoking and take punitive measures against the violators.

The 36-year-old Mais, mother of three children, called on authorities to issue directives to set apart separate areas for serving shisha outside restaurants, parks and beach cabins, away from children and young adults.

"We feel suffocated when going out to some public places and beaches where there are facilities for shisha smoking. I am anxious not to have the effects of passive smoking especially affect my children, among whom one is asthmatic," she said.

Hind, a 43-year-old woman, says that shisha has become part of the life for some women, especially youngsters. "This led to the springing up of several shisha smoking areas in public places. Some cafes and restaurants serve shisha even to children," she said while stressing the need for conducting programs aimed at increasing awareness of the public, especially parents, about the dangers of smoking.

She called on authorities to take stringent action against the current practice of misusing public places to earn profit by operating areas for shisha smoking, in addition to preventing children and youngsters from becoming addicts of smoking, beginning with a few puffs of shisha.

Khaled, aged 32, also voiced his indignation at the practice of some cafes and indoor restaurants serving shisha. "The law to prevent smoking at public places shall be applicable to shisha smoking also. Strict enforcement of the law would also help visitors of public places from the harmful effect of passive smoking," he said while criticizing the habit of some parents to smoke shisha in the presence of their children.

Anas, a 20-year-old university student, said indoor facilities where ventilation is limited should not be allowed to serve shisha. "There could be separate outdoor areas for shisha smoking at cafes and restaurants. The concerned authorities should take measures to discourage children from frequenting shisha smoking areas," he said.

Reem, aged 29, is a shisha smoker both at home and outside. She says that shisha smoking has become part of her daily routine mainly because of a lot of free time. "I tried my best to stop smoking, especially shisha, several times but to no avail. Whenever I go outside for relaxation and recreation, I cannot resist its smell. I am not in a position to stay away from the company of my family members and friends when they gather together to have a few puffs of shisha," she said while disclosing the fact that it is very difficult to quit the habit in the midst of smokers everywhere.

Similar is the case with Hiba. The 18-year-old girl says that her mother used to smoke shisha both at home and outside. "One day, when my mother left for living room in the midst of smoking shisha, I tried to smoke it. Then I had the feeling that I was doing the act as a grown up woman. After this, it has become my habit to smoke shisha in the company of my friends at restaurants and cafes," she said.

She added: "I enjoy freedom while smoking shisha outside home and nobody among my family members know until now about my habit."

Muhammad, aged 20, sees in shisha something enjoyable despite its harmful effect. "I see shisha everywhere - at home, restaurants and recreation centers. Shisha smoking has now become a part of recreation in my life. I am helpless in stopping its smoking especially in the company of my friends when we gather at restaurants and cafes," he said while noting that his parents do not prevent him from smoking shisha as they see it is better than smoking cigarettes.
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd January 2012 02:15

Measures to stem spread of habit

By ARAB NEWS Published: Jan 2, 2012 01:15 Updated: Jan 2, 2012 01:15

Replying to queries from Arab News, the Supervisory Department of the Anti-smoking Committee at the Ministry of Health gave the following clarifications:

1. There are several preventive measures to stop spreading shisha smoking in the Saudi society. They include:

• Taking steps to correct the wrong notions prevailing in the society about shisha smoking such as it is safer and less harmful than smoking cigarettes, it would not cause addiction because the smoke is passing through liquid ingredients before inhaling it, and that shisha smoking is not regular and continuous like cigarette smoking as it is being taken in one sitting or two in a day. But the scientifically proved reality is contrary to these claims.

• To highlight the fact that burning used charcoal for shisha causes emission of cancerous chemical compounds.

• Spread the message that products used with tobacco in shisha smoking such as flavors, and fruit essence would result in chemical reactions that are harmful.

• It is also to be highlighted that shisha smoking may be a carrier of contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis.

2. Intensifying campaign thorough the visual media against shisha smoking. This could be done indirectly through serials and films and also social networking sites that can produce positive impact in the minds of people.

3. Prevent spreading of shisha smoking through rest houses and coffee shops. There should be restrictions for licensing such outlets that start operating with the main purpose of serving shisha. There should also be restrictions for opening stores for the sale of tobacco and other ingredients of shisha smoking.

4. There should be clear policies to prevent spreading of shisha by imposing restrictions on the sale and manufacturing of the products used in shisha smoking. There should also be measures for the treatment of shisha addicts.

5. There should be restrictions on the sale of ingredients that serve as a source of attraction for people to shisha smoking.

The committee also wants to prevent spreading of shisha smoking in public places. It said there should be legislation to ban smoking shisha in public places, especially at indoor places. It called for the following:

1. Plans and strategies to prevent shisha smoking in public places must contain the following rules and regulations:

• Prevent writing down misleading facts on the packets of tobacco used for shisha

• Slapping additional duties and taxes on the sale of shisha products as well as on coffee shops and restaurants serving shisha.

• Frame stringent manufacturing specifications regarding shisha ingredients.

• Impose a ban on the sale of shisha products as well as on serving shisha to those under the age of 18

• Slap a ban on shisha smoking in public places, especially at indoor premises.

2. A health awareness campaign to rectify the wrong notion that shisha smoking is safer than smoking cigarettes. The campaign should shed light on the health haphazard of shisha smoking through the following ways:

• Include the subject of smoking, especially shisha, and its harmful effect on the health of individuals as well as its negative impact on the society in the curriculum of school and universities as students are the main targets

• Conduct lectures and seminars on smoking at educational institutions

• Printing leaflets as part of anti-smoking campaign

3. Both print and electronic media should play a key role in:

• Warning against promotion of shisha directly or indirectly

• Holding discussions about the problem of spreading shisha smoking and its demerits as well as the ways to prevent it.
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 17th October 2012 19:45
Female inspectors to enforce shisha ban in cafes,salons

ARAB NEWS Wednesday 17 October 2012

JEDDAH: In order to enforce the Ministry of Interior's decision to ban shisha in all cafιs and beauty shops especially the ones run by women, Jeddah mayoralty set female teams to inspect these cafιs. Arwa Al-Ama, assistant mayor for ladies section affairs, said that great efforts made by the ladies section to enforce the decision. "There are 17 inspectors in eight teams doing field visits on daily basis to monitor the violating shops," Al-Ama said. The inspecting team spotted number of violations since the start of the ban said Al-Ama. She added that the violators were fined according to the law. Each team is consisting of two inspectors. Each team is covering specific area in Jeddah. They inspect shops under the mayoralty's supervision. "Violating shop is warned and given a grace time. If the owner doesn't correct his business situation upon the end of the grace time, he or she will be fined with SR 100 with another grace time. If the situation is not corrected even after the second chance given, the owner will be fined with SR 600 and given a close-down notice. And eventually the shop will face a closure if the owner doesn't comply with the regulations," said Al-Ama.
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