In December 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu, gave a directive banning shisha in Kenya. Through a public health rule, the Government of Kenya adopted and implemented a comprehensive ban on shisha that prohibited the importation, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, advertising, promotion, distribution, and encouraging or facilitating the use of shisha.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), shisha contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance, and many carcinogens that have been linked to cancers of the mouth, lung, stomach, and oesophagusWorld Health Organization. Factsheet: Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking and Health
Between May and June, the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA), conducted a study to assess the level of compliance with the shisha ban in public hospitality venues within Nairobi County. The areas identified included Westlands, Parklands, Langata, Eastleigh, Kasarani, Mathare Valley, and Pipeline. From the identified areas, a venue was deemed compliant with the law if neither shisha smoking nor the presence of shisha equipment was observed.
- Increase surveillance of shisha ban violations in public places through a multi-sectoral approach.
- Training of relevant enforcement agencies on the shisha ban.
- Intensify awareness of the ban among bars and nightclub owners and managers.
- conduct public education campaigns to inform the public of the health risks of shisha use and exposure to secondhand smoke, and raise awareness about the shisha ban.