One hour of shisha equals smoking 100 cigarettes

Shisha bars in the West End have been ordered to show health warnings on their items, like those found on cigarette packets.

Westminster council needs venues to incorporate warnings on any water pipes — known as hookah — utilized for tobacco and herbal products.

Authorities anticipate the move will educate customers about the health dangers of shisha smoking, including heart and respiratory diseases. An hour-long shisha session can be proportionate to smoking 100 cigarettes, in accordance with the British Heart Foundation.

Heather Acton, Westminster cabinet member for family services and public health, said the new guidelines were vital on the grounds that numerous individuals were still "totally unaware" of the health dangers of shisha.
She added: “If you smoke at a restaurant or cafe you may never see a single health warning, which does not help. Any other purchase of tobacco comes with very obvious health warnings, and there’s no reason shisha should be an exception. Smoking shisha, like other tobacco products, is unhealthy and dangerous, and we don’t want anyone to miss this fact.”

There is a huge centralization of hookah bars and cafes in Westminster, with hotspots including Edgware Road.

Shadi, 35, a chef at Palms Palace bistro on Edgware Road, stated: "We have these already in place and we make sure all our customers and staff know the health risks. Anything that is ­dangerous should have warnings."

The owner of close-by Dar Marrakesh, who did not give his name, said they previously had the warnings shown on their items.

But Jad Issa, 41, manager of Sannin restaurant, also on Edgware Road, stated: "These graphic pictures will not help — people know the risks already."

The council, which is sending bundles of labels out to venues, is announcing the guidelines under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. The Act mandated health warnings on cigarettes however did not incorporate distinct specifications for shisha products.

A spokesman said the shisha cafes and bars had always been "really receptive" to council specifications yet officers would consider enforcement action if businesses did not consent.

Zaid Alkateb, chairman of the It's Still Tobacco advocacy group, which plans to instruct smokers about the dangers of shisha, stated: "The law on tobacco labelling has been clearly applied to cigarette packaging, yet many shisha cafes continue to get away with having no labelling on their shisha pipes whatsoever."

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