I had actually planned to write about one of my most favorite weekend-destinations in Washington, the Georgetown Waterfront Park.
However on my way to this very spot this Saturday, a scene of young girls and boys enjoying the hookah in the Georgetown neighborhood caught my eye and occupied my thoughts and now that is the topic of the current post.
As I took their photo, with their permission, I informed them that hookah was banned in my city, Lahore, back in Pakistan. They were surprised. One of the girls asked “you can’t smoke cigarettes in Pakistan?”
But my abrupt reply made them laugh and confused them at the same time. “You can even smoke cigarettes in hospitals in Pakistan,” I told her.
In different parts of Pakistan, particularly Punjab, traditionally and historically tobacco is smoked in the hookah. In these areas, it still is.
However the hookah known as Shisha, which is liked by youth, is banned. The city district government authorities in Lahore crackdown on Shisha cafes almost every other day.
Anyhow after taking the hookah picture, I started thinking about what was actually the point in banning the hookah in Lahore? And why is the same so easily accessible to youth in an advanced country like United States if it has serious health hazards?
Having been here for almost one month now and having had an experience of living the same period of time in Duluth, Minnesota in 2011, I have a fairly good understanding about restrictions on smoking in America.
Undoubtedly smokers are in great “trouble” here in United States as compared to my country where as I said earlier one can smoke even in hospitals. It’s not that there is no anti-smoking law in Pakistan but what missing is proper implementation of this law.
Though there have been crackdowns on Shisha cafes, I have never heard of someone taking serious action against smoking in hospitals. And now I wonder which type of smoking is more dangerous, hookah or cigarettes?