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SANCA urges parents to be proactive

IS the hookah pipe a harmless option for smokers or a dangerous phenomenon?

South African National Council of Alcohol and Drug Centre (SANCA) dispelled the myths and misconceptions surrounding the hookah pipe also known as hubbly bubbly.

For those who may not be knowledgeable on what the hookah pipe is and what it is used for, SANCA gave a description and explanation: flavoured tobacco is placed on a heated charcoal or wood fuel. The smoke from tobacco is sent through a water chamber in the pipe into a tube with a mouth piece, which the smoker inhales through.

As part of CANSA’s World No Tobacco Day awareness campaign, CANSA CEO Sue Janse van Rensburg spoke out against the socially acceptable hookah pipe or hubbly bubbly and the dangers it poses to the user’s health.

“We watch with growing alarm as water pipes, also known as hookahs or hubbly bubblies, become increasingly popular among smokers and non-smokers alike, particularly among young people,” said Janse Van Rensburg. “There’s a misconception that the water pipe, which is a fashionable accessory at many social gatherings, offers a harmless way of sharing a recreational drug that has no side effects. The truth is that water pipe smokers and second-hand smokers are at risk of the same kinds of diseases that are caused by cigarette smoking, including cancer, heart and respiratory diseases, as well as adverse effects during pregnancy.”

It’s reported by SANCA that young people who indulge smoking the hooker pipe as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, are attracted by the pleasant smell and sweet flavour from the flavoured tobacco which also makes it easier for first time smokers to inhale smoke without coughing.

The reason why the Alcohol and Drug Centre has compiled pamphlets aimed at informing the youth about the types of drugs that they come into contact with at social gatherings, to enable youngsters to be proactive in their choices when they are dealing with their peers and are pressured to try out illegal substances. Parents are also advised to know what social activities their children are involved with to enable them to protect their children.

On October 10, Women Against Drugs and WOW (Women of Word) staged a march in efforts to fight against the scourge of drug and substance abuse in Johannesburg South communities also to hand over a memorandum urging zero tolerance on drugs and other illegal substances to the Westgate Magistrates Court, received by Desary Carlinsky.

SANCA reveals the dangers and causes of sharing the hookah pipe as tuberculosis, herpes and hepatitis which could be passed on from one person to another. The long term effects of this phenomenon include causing cancer of the mouth, lungs and bladder.

Other damaging effects caused by smoking the hookah pipe are impotence and infertility, heart attack, damage to lungs and the wrinkling of one’s skin.

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