Health & Wellbeing Board
14/02/2015 15:01:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley
As a member of the Health and Wellbeing Board I was pleased to see a paper that supports and oversees the continued development of a broad tobacco control approach. This includes work we do with the youth council, the healthy schools programme whole-school smokefree policies, school-based smoking education and cessation as well as monitoring all confiscations of illicit tobacco in schools to provide health intelligence and participation of volunteering pupils in Trading Standards training for local businesses and test purchasing (as part of the citizenship curriculum).
We endorse strong communication with shisha bars to ensure they comply with all necessary legislation and to take firm action where there are issues of non-compliance as well as developing guidance for schools on e-cigs and shisha pens in partnership with th Healthy Schools programme.
As a board we are concerned that shisha - or waterpipes - are gaining popularity among young people even as smoking rates are falling. The Croydon Secondary School Health and Lifestyle Survey 2014 asked 2,325 year 8 and 10 students about their smoking habits. While just 14 per cent of the 13 to 15-year-olds who took part said they had tried a cigarette, 32 per cent said they had smoked shisha. As a result, Public Health Croydon intends to produce a tobacco plan in order to address the issue.
A report by the Director of Public Health Mike Robinson, said; "there are common misconceptions about health risks of shisha, including that they are safer than cigarettes because the water filters harmful substances.
There is also some evidence that sharing a waterpipe mouthpiece poses serious risk of transmission of communicable diseases, including tuberculosis,"
It cites a study which found machine-smoked waterpipes contained five times the amount of ultrafine particles, four times the carcinogens and 35 times the carbon monoxide than regular cigarettes.