Health CS Cleopa Mailu has said the ban on the use of shisha was meant to curb the spread of infectious diseases. In an affidavit filed in court supporting the ban, Mailu also said the consumption of shisha is used as a gateway to consumption of other hard drugs such as heroin. Mailu wants a case lodged against him by a group of shisha smokers and importers dismissed, saying the ban was not actuated by ill motive or biases, but rather the need to secure Kenyans health.
Dr Jackson Kioko, the director of medical services, in support of the ministry’s ban, said the water-piped tobacco is harmful not only to smokers, but nonsmokers and that it affects vital organs including the brain, lungs and leads to the blockage of arteries and can cause tuberculosis.
Kioko told the court shisha contains many cancer-causing agents, including carcinogens, nitrosamines, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, volatile aldehydes, benzene, heavy metals and addictive agents such as nicotine.