The Ministry of Health has announced a ban on water-pipe tobacco smoking known as shisha tobacco and its importation to Rwanda.
“The general public is informed that the use, advertisement and import of water-pipe tobacco smoking known as shisha tobacco is banned on Rwandan territory effective 15 December, 2017,” a statement signed by the Minister for Health, Dr Diane Gashumba said.
It said the ban is pursuant to the World Health Organisation note concerning water-pipe tobacco smoking which highlights its health effects and recommended actions for regulators.
Shisha tobacco smoking is damaging, addictive and dangerous on human lives, the statement added.
Research reveals that the smoke that emerges from a water-pipe contains numerous toxicants known to cause lung cancer, heart disease among other ailments.
The ministry warned that legal sanctions will be taken against those who fail to comply with the ban.
East African Community countries like Tanzania and Kenya have also banned smoking shisha in public spaces.
Pakistan, Jordan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia no longer accept its importation to their territories.
Shisha smoking has become increasingly popular with young people in local bars, but there has been growing concern that smoking the fruit-scented tobacco through a bowl and tube could be used to cover up alcohol or drug abuse.