No law prohibiting 'hubbly bubbly': Shikesho

16 Dec 2013 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 16 DEC (NAMPA) - Senior Superintendent Gerry Shikesho of the City Police says there is no law prohibiting the smoking of hookahs – or hubbly bubbly, as it is more commonly known.
“Smoking hubbly bubbly is not a crime. That is why we as City Police cannot take anyone who we witness smoking hubbly into custody,” he said in an interview with Nampa on Monday.
The smoking of hubbly amongst young people, especially in Windhoek, is a popular activity, but is frowned upon by the older generation.
Shikesho, however, felt that because the activity itself is not illegal, the City Police can only arrest people who add drugs like cannabis, heroin, crack and methamphetamine to their hookah pipes.
Youngsters are quick to defend the activity by saying it is harmless, as they are under the impression that the hookah pipes are harmless and say it does not involve “proper drugs”.
Approached for comment on the matter, a health official from the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek who asked to remain anonymous, said hookah and cigarette smoke both contain poisons, including nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, arsenic and lead, amongst many others.
Arsenic is used to poison rats, and carbon monoxide is a deadly gas also found in car exhaust fumes. Lead is a neurotoxin which, even in small amounts, can damage the nervous system.
“Long-term effects of smoking hubbly include lung cancer, emphysema and mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer,” she stated.
She added that breathing the air in a room where people are smoking a hookah also exposes non-smokers to many deadly chemicals.
Children whose parents smoke hookahs are also more likely to have lung infections.
“A pregnant woman smoking hubbly can put her unborn baby in danger of getting lung cancer,” she noted.
This news agency also spoke to a Windhoek resident, Glenn Carew, who was of the opinion that the usage of hubbly bubbly amongst the capital’s youth is very high.
“This also has a negative influence on the younger children,” he stated, referring to children as young as 10 who follow the example of teenagers as they are told smoking hookah pipes is harmless.
Shikesho said despite the smoking of hookahs not being illegal, police should confiscate the pipe and inform parents or guardians about the incident when the officers witness very young children smoking it.