Cameroon has made it illegal to smoke shisha pipes in bars and at home, claiming that it is harmful to the health of the mostly young people who do so.
According to the health ministry, about 46% of young Cameroonians smoke the substance, which is typically a mixture of tobacco, molasses, glycerine, and flavorings.
According to doctors, there is a “misconception” that shishas aren’t as harmful as cigarettes, and the British Heart Foundation estimates that an hour of shisha is the equivalent of smoking more than 100 cigarettes.
“Traditionally shisha tobacco contains cigarette tobacco, so like cigarettes it contains nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead,” it says.
Tanzania and Sudan have both banned shisha in recent years, though the bans have been reversed and reintroduced several times since.