22.4 C
Doha
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Health officials: More women in Qatar smoking shisha

-

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Amid efforts to discourage people in Qatar from smoking, healthcare officials are now reportedly expressing concerns about the rising popularity of shisha among women in the country.

Once considered a cultural taboo, hookah is now becoming more fashionable among females, said Dr. Amina Al Hail, a psychologist with the Supreme Education Council (SEC). Some women also smoke shisha for stress relief, she added.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

While specific statistics on the prevalence of shisha use are reportedly not kept, HMC has previously said that 37 percent of Qatar residents above the age of 15 smoke some form of tobacco.

According to the Peninsula, more hookah cafes in Qatar are setting aside space especially for female customers, and more women are seeking treatment at Hamad Medical Corp.’s smoking cessation clinics to break their addiction to the shisha habit.

Health questions

Speaking to the newspaper this week, HMC psychiatrist Dr. Taher Shaltout said that another factor that motivates women – as it does men – is the perception that shisha smoking is safer than cigarette smoking.

However, health officials say this notion is incorrect, and that one session of shisha smoking can have the health repercussions of puffing through a pack of cigarettes.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Though the harmful effects of cigarette smoking are well-documented, information on the long-term health impact of only huffing on a hookah has been harder to come by.

To address this gap, HMC last year began conducting research into how the popular regional pastime affects heart, blood vessels and the respiratory system.

Over the last several months, doctors have been interviewing individuals who have smoked shisha daily for the past decade, but have never smoked cigarettes.

Though the results of the study have yet to be published, Dr. Ahmed Al Mulla of HMC’s smoking cessation clinic warned women that one health repercussion of increased shisha usage could be fertility problems.

Thoughts?

26 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
26 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Misha
Misha
5 years ago

Instead of worrying about women smoking shisha, these health officials should put their energy into a greater concern. The families that take their children to shisha restaurants smoking shisha around their children sometimes while on their laps. If you want to eat go to the nonsmoking area, if you want to smoke leave your children at home.

Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago

Until Qatar bans smoking in restaurants and actively prevents locals from smoking in malls – still puffing away yesterday even outside Starbucks in Villagio -the governments efforts in this area will not be taken seriously.

LDP
LDP
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

Yes prevent these locals !!!! These locals annoy us right Michael L?

Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago
Reply to  LDP

All I can say is that in 5 years I have only seen gentlemen wearing Arabic dress smoking in malls. I assume that they are locals but perhaps they are from other Gulf countries and my assumption is wrong.

Red_Panigale
Red_Panigale
5 years ago

Question to someone who knows about this topic. Smoking kills far more people than drinking yet drinking is banned here while smoking is allowed. Can anyone shed any light on why this is so?

Katie Harrington
Katie Harrington
5 years ago
Reply to  Red_Panigale

Drinking is haram, yanni. Alcohol is taboo for religious, not health reasons. Also, drinking isn’t banned here – what makes you think that? You can get a licence and buy alcohol from QDC to consume at home or visit one of the *many* hotel bars that serve booze.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago

I think Red’s point is valid though. Both tobacco and alcohol are mind altering, habit forming, and bad for your health (you could argue that a limited amount of alcohol is beneficial while zero amount of tobacco is healthy). So why a full on taboo for one and a pass for the other? Some ancient text? The meat that comes from an animal with a curly tail is none of the above when it comes to mind or body but still haram (though quite tasty when prepared correctly IMHO). I guess from a logic standpoint I just don’t understand…….

Katie Harrington
Katie Harrington
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

There’s no point in trying to look at laws based on religion from the standpoint of logic.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago

Islam prohibits all things that are intoxicating and are harmful for health. There is logic behind each and every verse. ‘Un’fortunately, not all of the religious script came to be law.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
5 years ago

Amen!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Correct! Religion is not based on logic or evidence. Therefore can be dismissed without logic or evidence

Katie Harrington
Katie Harrington
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Did we just find something we can agree on?!

We all choose to come here though, so as much as possible I try not to complain about Islamic laws – I knew that was the case when I moved here, after all.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I agree, I knew the system when I came and although I can’t agree with much of it I live with it.

Don’t forget as a woman under sharia your testomy is worth half that of a man and for inheritance purposes the man’s rights outstrip yours, (don’t die here) and I’ll stop it just gets worse….

Katie Harrington
Katie Harrington
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I know. That’s why I don’t keep any of my savings here, and why I would never choose to buy property here. I believe woman’s testimony being worth half of a man’s applies only to certain sections of family law. (Not that this is okay, but it’s not the case in all aspects of law)

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Interestingly coffee was once banned by the mayor of Mecca because it is a mind altering substance but after huge protests the law was reversed

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  Red_Panigale

According to the holy Qur’an, Sura (verse) 2.219, advises to ‘avoid’ drinking and gambling, now the word ‘avoid’ is a literal translation but means “strictly do not”. Sura 5:90 instruct more specifically to avoid all things that are ‘intoxicating’, describing them as devils creation. Now, you have to understand that, tobacco was not known by men during the advent of Islam so smoking is not directly addressed, but anything harmful to health but is used for temporary enjoyment is prohibited.

Amber
Amber
5 years ago
Reply to  Red_Panigale

Cigarettes are haraam but unfortunately many Muslims don’t think it’s haraam or know it’s haraam but continues smoking.

Peaches
Peaches
5 years ago
Reply to  Amber

I think gaining wealth through sin is also haram and sin includes: money earned through corruption (world cup bid) and money earned by doing harm to someone else (dead laborers) ..so maybe it’s just a case of doing some things but not other things?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Red_Panigale

Driving kills more people than drinking here and is the leading cause of death for Qatari men under 45 but nothing is done. They are hypocrites when it comes to drinking

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

And imagine if these men had easy access to alcohol, they are dangerous enough now without it!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

That is a misconception, they do have easy access. The young ones tend to drive to the desert and drink where the older ones drink in the hotels and then drive home. No problem with them drinking but they should not drive as well. The police should breath test drivers occasionally outside of hotels when people are leaving but won’t do it as they would catch too many locals.

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You’re right if you are willing to pay, it’s easy to have access to alcohol. I should have said open access. Most of the younger ones are still afraid of social and career repercussions to drink in public so they go to the desert which is better so they are less likely to be on the roads.

The older ones don’t care anymore so are more likely to drink at hotels. I agree breathtests would be to embarrassing for them to implement especially to a Qatari elder man, so it wont happen.

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  Red_Panigale

Smoking tends to slowly kill the individual. Drinking can impair ones judgement leading to violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault and drunk driving. Basically more likely killing harming or killing others.

Marijuana does little harm compared to drinking (and can be beneficial) yet it is still banned in most places.

Most of these decisions are based on religious practices, social norms or are politically driven.

Here it is religiously driven. Michkey’s comment explains it well.

Katie Harrington
Katie Harrington
5 years ago

As someone who smokes shisha once every two or three weeks, I wish there was more clarity on how bad it is for you. Some people say it is like one pack of cigarettes, others say it’s like smoking 100… Also, sometimes a shisha ‘session’ is half an hour and other times it’s 2-3 hours – which does the journalist mean?

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

If women want to smoke shisha it is there business. The information is out there on the harmful aspects so as long as they smoke in the designated places then let them do what they want.

disqus_CpJJvzDxuG
disqus_CpJJvzDxuG
5 years ago

Deja vu. If I remember correctly, in the late 90s the government tried to ban women from smoking shisha in public here. I was in high school at the time and many of my classmates, girls and boys, were addicted — they threw a hissy fit over it. The news never changes!

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Vaccine Passport?: Where you can travel if you’ve been vaccinated

0
Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19? Here are some destinations that don't require you to quarantine! Qatar's health authorities on Thursday confirmed residents that have...

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.