Illegal tobacco, e-cigarettes and shisha

Shisha - south-east London research

In 2015 a survey commissioned by trading standards and public health in South East London found about a third of adults had tried shisha smoking.

Adults in six boroughs (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark) were asked a range of questions about tobacco smoking.

Less than half knew shisha was addictive and harmful to health, and two thirds didn't know it's illegal to smoke shisha in enclosed public spaces

 Filtering and misplaced health beliefs

Traditional shisha smoking, also known as a waterpipe, hookah and narghile, comes in a range of tobacco flavours and has been steadily growing in popularity in the UK.

Where shisha contains tobacco, the smoke contains many of the same harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, as well as additional ones that come from the burning charcoal used to heat it.

One in three incorrectly believed that shisha smoke is filtered by water in the apparatus, in fact, it contains the same risks as smoking cigarettes

 The study and survey results were published on 26th August 2015 in the Journal of Public Health.

Page last updated: 17 May 2023


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