As the coronavirus threat remains, many countries in the region as Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Kuwait took the decision to ban serving shisha in public cafes and restaurants and warned against any act of violation. Yet, we still come across people smoking shisha in public places all over Instagram stories. We talked to Dr. Adel Khattab, Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Ain Shams University, the possibility of coronavirus transmission via shisha and this is what he told us.
“Proved by research, smokers are more vulnerable to get infected by coronavirus,” Khattab told us. Smoking shisha outdoors or at a cafe, restaurant, or even smoking a personal shisha at home imposes a risk on the smoker.
It’s not about changing the pipe or hose
Khattab explained that whenever you warn a patient of the dangers of smoking shisha, their excuse is that they use their own personal pipes, or smoke at a hygienic restaurant or hotel that uses disposable hoses, which automatically means they’re protected. Khattab added that changing the nozzle has nothing to do with preventing the infection because, as we all know, coronavirus spreads through respiratory secretions which can reach the shisha’s pipe and water bowl. The next person who uses this shisha will be at the potential risk of infection.
Smoking personal shisha at home
Khattab stated that although smoking a personal shisha helps in decreasing the spread of infection among people, it doesn’t stop the danger of lowering the immunity as smoking, by default, decreases the respiratory system’s immunity. The professor further explained that people with low immunity are high-risk patients and are more prone to catch coronavirus.
Khattab added that when smokers get infected, the infections transfers from the upper respiratory tract to the lower tract causing further complications like pneumonia and respiratory failure that will definitely need hospitalization and intensive care units instead of a simple home treatment.
Not to mention that the ambiance of shisha joints is condensed with people and smoke with many customers handling the same shishas one after the other, making it the perfect place for catching the virus. No doubt shisha causes many other dangerous diseases and we have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our beloved ones that might be in danger because of passive smoking or getting an infection from a smoker adult
Stay safe, everyone!