The recent trend of ‘Shisha’ smoking is putting young people’s lives at risk.
Smoking of the “Shisha” - a water pipe - has become a social occasion among youngsters - particularly in the Asian community - as an alternative to going to the cinema or for a meal.
But West Trading Standards has joined forces with NHS Leeds and Leeds City Council to warn parents that allowing children to take part thinking it’s a “safe alternative” to cigarettes is wrong. A full shisha session can contain the same amount of smoke as up to 200 cigarettes.
They are specifically targeting the south Asian community so they can make “informed health choices”.
Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: “Some people are under the impression that these products are a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking.
“It is essential that young people are informed of the health risks associated with the use of a water pipe before something that they think is harmless leads to an illness”.
Coun Neil Taggart, chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, said “I am pleased to see that this partnership is taking an active role in highlighting the dangers to health and would encourage anyone who would like to find out more information to contact Trading Standards.”
A recent visit was made to St Aidans Church in Harehills to raise awareness of the harmful effects of a water pipe to a group of youths.
Abu Bokkar, senior youth worker, said: “An increasing number of young people have been coming to the centre saying that they have been smoking a water pipe with family and friends.
“They all think that it’s just a bit of fun and has no ill effects. The risks of using a water pipe is a major issue amongst the young people we work with”.