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Courts dispel shisha myths with penalties
Compared to just a few years ago, the numbers of people who smoke is greatly reduced. This is due, in no small part, to the stringent and welcome rules which forbid smoking in enclosed public places, the cost of cigarettes, and the great work being done by health professionals.
Bradford and Airedale’s NHS Stop Smoking Service helped 3,000 people to quit last year, but the fact that around a fifth of the population of the district still admits to the habit is why we still need events like National Stop Smoking Day.
The days when people could claim ignorance about the detrimental effects of cigarettes are long gone – indeed, the days when tobacco was unscrupulously advertised as having dubiously-explained health benefits might still be in living memory, but seems an utterly alien concept now. People smoke because they want to or because they feel addicted to nicotine, and many public health campaigns are designed to convince them otherwise and offer help to give up.
A growing problem, though, is the rise of shisha lounges, where flavoured tobacco is smoked through water pipes. Some people erroneously think that smoking shisha tobacco is somehow “not as bad” as standard cigarettes – a myth the NHS is very keen to bust, as evidenced by its recent campaigns.
Nor is smoking shisha exempt from the smoking ban, as some who operate these establishments seem keen to have us believe. The courts, as reported in the Telegraph & Argus today, take a very different view.
With financial gain and health benefits to be had from quitting, the arguments for carrying on increasingly seem so much like smoke and mirrors.