The use, sale and hiring of Shisha (also known as hubbly bubbly) is still prohibited in Botswana, according to the regulation 30G of the Emergency Powers (Covid-19) Regulations issued on the 24th June 2020. However, some businesses in Gaborone still allow the use of hubbly bubbly in their premises despite the current ban. The ‘Shisha lifestyle’ has also spread to other parts of the country being Chobe and Okavango areas.
During the recent workshop organized by the Anti Tobacco Network (ATN) for law enforcement officers, the Environmental Health Officers from the above areas revealed that the use of shisha is currently the in thing in their area especially in the tourism business. They reported that passengers are allowed to have shisha parties during boat cruises. This exposes other passengers who are non-smokers to second hand smoke since the boats do not have designated smoking areas that are compliant with the Control of Smoking Act.
The shisha lifestyle very worrying because sharing tobacco products such as shisha can transmit the coronavirus between smokers. During shisha smoking sessions, it is practically impossible to maintain social distance to avoid transmission of COVID -19 and this poses the danger of spreading COVID-19 through contaminated saliva. Sharing hubbly bubbly can alos transmit other communicable diseases such as TB.
Anti Tobacco Network (ATN)