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Smoking shisha and related stuff

April 9, 2008

When the first Lebanese restaurant opened its door in Brunei more than five years ago, it offered more than food and beverage. Shisha or traditionally known as Hookah was also there (for free)  and soon became a trend among the youths. Yes I had my fair share…

Shisha is notorious in the Middle-East and South Asian countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Hookah (Hindi: हुक्का, Urdu: حقہ hukka) or shisha (Arabic: شيشة‎, Hebrew: נרגילה, Nargilah‎) or (Turkish: nargile). It is a water pipe widely used to smoke jurak or moasel, a tobacco-fruit, mixture, cooked to produce a dark-colored paste. The mixture is burnt either by an electrical device or more commonly charcoal. The produced smoke passes through water at the base of the sheesha and a long tube before it is inhaled.

Researches have been made into the effect of smoking shisha. The Brunei Times reported that smoking shisha for 45 minutes is equivalent to puffing 50 tobacco cigarretes. Now how dangerous could that be? 

The report said that according to Dr Zulhilmi Abdullah, …some tobacco products used in shisha do not contain (health) warning labels. Now, it is a law that all cigarettes must have a health warning before being allowed to enter Brunei. Is somebody not doing their work here?

The other day, I read from a lifestyle journal saying shisha is in a limbo now as people are weighing between traditional values and it’s health affects. The Arabs for example have been smoking shisha for centuries and it is more than just poisoning your lungs (and others). Shisha smoking is a tradition. For me, in this case I would choose my health over tradition. Sorry tradition.

Brunei has also it’s own version of cigarette. It is call ‘Sigup Brunei’ or Brunei cigarette. Mr Brunei Resources (BR) has put up an interesting post on this previously. The simple, hand-made Sigup Brunei is made from tobacco rolled in a what-else, a tobacco leaf. It is then lighted up and you can now enjoy your chat with fellow ‘sigupers’ or smokers.

I remember when I was small, my chain-smoker neighbour had this unique hobby of collecting used cigarette packs. I couldn’t remember the brands, must be the ones that Mr BR mentioned in his post. So, these packs would filled the consoles of an archway leading to my neighbour’s kitchen cum dining area. I tell you, it’s not in dozens, must be hundreds. And what happen to him now? You guess it.  I always say that health is a choice and you are what you eat.

Read more on smoking in general from this American Cancer Society website.

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