Zanzibar to ban Shisha and E-cigarette smoking

Shisha is common with tourists resorts and restaurants in Zanzibar

Unguja. Authorities in Zanzibar are set to impose a ban on import and consumption of Shisha and E-cigarettes saying it was being consumed carelessly in public places.

In a communication to the public, Zanzibar’s Minister of State, Office of the President, Regional Administrations, Local Governments and SMZ Departments, Masoud Ali Mohammed said government will issue a special directive soon.

“We are all witnesses, the consumption of Shisha and E-cigarettes has become common place and we shall come up with a special regulatory laws to govern those who will have special permits to import and sell shisha or electric cigarettes,” said Mr Masoud.

The ban is also set to affect current importers who have been advised not to restock more products and instead reach to the authorities for new directives.

“Do not order more products after your current stock is depleted. You will have to follow the new laws that the government is going to issue,” said the minister.

According to one hotelier in Zanzibar, Shisha is very popular in tourist resorts and restaurants and its ban could mean massive losses of revenue.

This is not the first time that ban has been imposed in Tanzania, at the height of his powers, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda imposed a blanket ban on Shisha in Dar es Salaam.

As a result, by April 2021, some 500 containers of Shisha were still stuck at the Dar es Salaam Port.

The ban was later on rescinded and it is back in most bars.

What is Shisha?

Shisha tobacco is mixed with molasses or honey, and unlike the tobacco cigarettes that contains industrial chemicals and artificial additives, it’s made of only natural substances. Its champions say that makes it relatively “safe”.

Popular flavours include apple, strawberry, mint and cola. Wood, coal or charcoal is burned in the shisha pipe to heat the tobacco and create the smoke.

Shisha has over the years become glue that holds Africa’s millennials together, the pool in which they drown the angst of their age.

But also, it is important in a time of globalisation as a perhaps the one strong trend that does not have its roots in the West.