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HPB aims to stub out shisha smoking – Channel NewsAsia


Shisha smoking.

SINGAPORE: 12 local and international youth volunteers prowled the lanes of Kampong Glam on Friday evening to spread the word on the harmful effects of shisha smoking.

This is part of the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) first shisha awareness programme in Singapore.

Youth volunteers Camelia Tang and Ridzwan Rahmad are members of the ‘Live It Up Without Lighting Up’ Global Movement, an initiative that aims to empower young people to adopt smoke-free lifestyles.

Armed with specially designed brochures and videos, Camelia and Ridzwan hope that speaking to youth about the ills of shisha smoking will dissuade them from picking up the habit.

Camelia said: “I am taking part in this because I feel it’s quite meaningful to dispel myths before about shisha, the harms of shisha, before it becomes facts that everyone believes in. So what I am doing now is to advocate and to tell people that it’s actually harmful.”

Dr K Vijaya, director, Youth Health Division Health Promotion Board, said: “We know that shisha smoking is a very social event for youth and young adults. So during a typical one hour session of shisha smoking, the shisha smoker would have inhaled smoke equivalent to 100 cigarettes or more.”

According to HPB, water pipe smoking delivers the addictive drug nicotine, and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke.

However, many believe that shisha smoking is safer than cigarettes, largely due to the fruity smell of shisha smoke, as well as the lack of tobacco aftertaste.

A shisha smoker said: “I didn’t know how harmful it was and when I saw the video about how much germs and rust was inside, I was surprised, cos I thought smoking was worse than shisha.”

There are currently 44 shisha outlets in Singapore.

The Health Promotion Board hopes to reach at least 50,000 people through their six-week campaign

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