DID you know that inhaling shisha for around 40 minutes is
equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes?
This is just one of the shocking statistics revealed during a
presentation at Bolton Central Fire Station recently.
Staff from Bolton Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) gave a
talk about the dangers of shisha including the health and fire
Shisha is an ornate water pipe for smoking flavored tobacco, traditionally used by Asian families
but becoming more popular in the white British community.
Also known as 'hookah', 'narghile' or 'hubble bubble', it is
traditionally seen as a cultural or social activity and is often
smoked in a circle with friends and family after a meal.
Bolton CVS has embarked on a project to visit schools and
educate members of the community on the facts about
They gave Blue Watch crews at Bolton Central and Community
Safety Advisors (CSAs) a taster of the session on Thursday, April
Louise McDade, development worker for Bolton CVS, said: "We've
been delivering interactive sessions as part of the Open Wide
Workshop since 2009 to raise awareness of the dangers of shisha
pipes and chewing tobacco.
"It's about dispelling the myths around shisha - people think
it's better than smoking tobacco but that's not the case.
"We are not health and fire safety professionals but we are
focused on providing information and engaging with the community to
help people make informed decisions.
"Shisha is a growing concern for the council and the NHS, not
just around the health implications but the fact that some people
aren't abiding by fire safety regulations and smoke-free
Legally, you have to be 18 years or older to smoke shisha but
many Muslim families allow children to use it at home and it is
believed that youngsters use shisha in cafes, many of which are
Samim Vali, campaign engagement worker for Bolton CVS, said: "If
the pipe is left unattended or someone falls asleep, or if the
charcoal falls onto a carpet when it's being passed around, it
could easily catch fire so it is a hazard."
The event came about after Bolton Community Safety Manager Reg
Dempster attended a Tobacco Alliance meeting and learned about
shisha and the fire safety risks.
He thought it would be useful for the crews and CSAs to be aware
when out doing their preventative work in the community.
Bolton Borough Manager Ian Bailey said: "Although we haven't
experienced any fires related to the use of shisha pipes, it is
clear to see that there is potential for an accidental fire to
occur as a result of using them.
"The awareness session was very informative and will allow our
staff to give more informed safety messages about the use of
Facts about shisha:
Shisha originated in India in 1588.
The water in the shisha does not take out any harmful effects of
One session of smoking shisha can result in carbon monoxide
levels at least four times higher than the amount produced by a
Shisha smokers may inhale as much smoke during one session
(around 40 minutes) as a cigarette smoker would inhale by smoking
Shisha cafes usually charge around Â£5 for a one-hour
For further NHS information on shisha, visit
Pictured are: (left) Firefighter Patrick Charles, from
Bolton Central Blue Watch; and (right) Samim Vali, campaign
engagement worker for Bolton CVS.