_ Njie Baa
The degree at which our young people are in love with certain lifestyles is worrying. Recently, a handful of young people are into all kinds of fantasies; smoking, drinking and arm robbery. Most of our youths have found a kind of sanctuary in these indulgences; some believed it abate their displeasure of the inconvenient and unwanted situation, for others claim it relishes their stress while others just find ecstasy in taking these substances. For whatsoever reason, smoking seriously damages health, although life can be interesting and overwhelming sometimes, especially for those in their prime. As youths, there is too much energy and passion for doing the things we often find enjoyable and exciting, hoping that these excitements never end, which is human – [to crave]. Unfortunately, the excitement in question do more harm than good to us as young people; it is a deadly fantasy. Smoking shisha is detrimental and can post serious non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It is heart-aching knowing majority of our young people, both men and women are into smoking shisha with the simple bases that they find it sophisticated and fantasizing.
Shisha smoke; also called hookah, water, or Hubble bubble smoking – is a way of smoking tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through a bowl and hose or tube. The tube ends in a mouthpiece from which the smoker inhales the smoke from the substances being burnt into their lungs. You will be amazed to see young people in bars and clubs inhaling this smoke coming out from the shisha hose or tube. The shisha pipe use tobacco sweetened with fruit or molasses sugar, which makes the smoke more aromatic than cigarette smoke. Popular flavourings include apple, plum, coconut, mango, mint, strawberry and cola. Wood, coal or charcoal is burned in the shisha pipe to heat the tobacco and create the smoke because the fruit syrup or sugar makes the tobacco damp.
It is appalling to see how some of our youngsters are been carried away by this deadly fantasy. As a consumers, I found this quiet tormenting and unhealthy, especially the young men and women – the posterity of this country.
In Gambia, shisha is smoke mostly in the night clubs, Bars and Restaurants as these are the places where most young people converge. It is appalling to see how some of our youngsters are been carried away by this deadly fantasy. As a consumers, I found this quiet tormenting and unhealthy, especially the young men and women – the posterity of this country. Some youths actually have it in their possession and use it with colleagues at their home ghettos, all you have to do is buy the flavour you desired and then burn it on the hookah while you inhale the smoke through the hose or tube. This indulgence is conceived a hyped-life and ecstasy. Many researchers and scientific studies including British Heart Foundation, discovered that “When you smoke shisha, you and anyone sitting near you are breathing in smoke which release toxins including carbon monoxide and heavy metals – reducing your body’s ability to carry oxygen around in your blood.” this is phenomenally harmful to our health as it can cause serious tissue damages, brain damage, miscarriage, or at worst death.
Further more, i had a conversation with a Public Health Officer (who works on non-communicable diseases) told me that “Shisha is just the materials – the hookah and the tube but tobacco is the what being smoked with the mixture of the sugar molasses in flavourings”. So shisha contains cigarettes tobacco; like the cigarettes it contains nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. Hence, shisha smokers are at the same risk as cigarette smokers, such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and problems during pregnancy. “It is difficult to ascertain exactly how much smoke or toxic substances you’re exposed to in a typical shisha session. People smoke shisha for much longer periods of time than they smoke a cigarette, and in one puff of shisha you inhale the same amount of smoke as you’d get from smoking a whole cigarette”. As discovered by British Heart Foundation. Now imagine having a bunch of young people inhaling shisha smoke from mid-night till 4:00 am.
“The average shisha smoking session lasts for an hour and research has shown that in this time you can inhale the amount of smoke as from more than 100 cigarettes”. in Gambia, a typical shisha smoking session can last for three hours. mostly it is in a club or bar, where there is intense partying; such moments are pretty much compulsive, you can join the show and ride with the flow no matter how innocent you’re. what baffles me more is when some of us [young people] we continue to mistakenly perceived shisha smoking ‘not addictive’ because the water used in the pipe can absorb nicotine. “In reality, only some of the nicotine is absorbed by the water, shisha smokers are still exposed to enough nicotine to cause addiction”.
Aware of the fact that we have poor systematic healthcare delivery in the Gambia, consumers in this part of the world should be their own guiding mentor to healthy lifestyles, to prevent an emergency of epidermic of non communicable diseases (NCDs). state by begin by putting a ban on it as many other African do; Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana.