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NBGS launches crackdown on shisha use in Aweil town

NBGS launches crackdown on shisha use in Aweil town
Some of the shisha pots that the authorities have so far confiscated from bars in Aweil town | Credit | Aquilina Adhel/TRC

Police in Northern Bahr el Ghazal have launched a crackdown on hookah (shisha) consumption in the state capital, Aweil, over health and idleness concerns.

Shisha, or waterpipe is a single- or multi-stemmed instrument for heating or vaporizing and then smoking either tobacco, flavored tobacco, or sometimes cannabis, hashish, and opium.

The smoke is passed through a water basin – often glass-based – before inhalation.

During the exercise on Monday, Gen Philip Madut, police commissioner; and Zachariah Dut, Aweil Town Major, were seen moving around the market, grabbing all shisha pots.

“We have decided to carry out the 2021 orders on the banning of shisha selling in the market since our traders failed to listen. We decided to visit their shops one by one and collect all the shisha they are selling,” Gen Philip told reporters.

In July 2021, the local government minister banned shisha, Star Gin and playing station with approval from Council of Ministers.

”We shall not stop cracking down on all the shisha joints and sale of it too. This shisha smoking is bad for the health; it has spoilt the lives of many people and promotes idleness,” he added.

Studies of tobacco-based shisha and “herbal” shisha show that smoke from both preparations contain carbon monoxide and other toxic agents known to increase the risks for smoking-related cancers, heart disease, and lung disease, according to CDC

Mayor Dut Mou said anyone who does not obey the order will be fined 500,000 SSP.

”We might not have confiscated all but should we find anyone still selling shisha in the market, they shall face the law and be fined an amount of SSP500,000,” he explained.