, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – Health CS Cleopa Mailu has defended the decision to ban shisha, arguing that it is a gateway to consumption of hard drugs such as heroin.
The Health CS says in papers lodged before a Nairobi court the move to ban shisha is not in bad faith or unreasonable as alleged by the petitioners.
Mailu in response to the case contesting the ban explains that his action was informed by the resolve to protect the public from harmful effects and practices associated with shisha consumption.
The CS adds that he rightly exercised his powers under the Public Health Act by imposing the ban on importation, sale, advertisement, promotion and distribution of shisha in Kenya.
From available statistics, Mailu states that the use of Shisha has revealed severe acute and chronic health effects on consumers and exposed non-consumers.
According to a report by WHO, which Mailu has attached in the court documents, the smoke which emanates as a result of burning and consuming shisha contains chemicals that are harmful to non-users who work in areas where it is sold.
The CS has urged the court to dismiss the case arguing that none of the petitioners have demonstrated that they are licensed to buy, sell or manufacture the substance.
“The ban is purely driven by public health interest which is the golden thread that runs through all the laws cited,” argues Mailu.
Director of medical services Dr Jackson Kioko says that shisha affects all parts of the human body particularly the vital organs such as brain, lungs, heart attacks and blockage of arteries.