x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Cancer risk grows as more women smoke shisha

More women are smoking shisha and consequently increasing numbers are coming down with lung disease and other respiratory conditions, according to doctors.

More women are smoking shisha and consequently increasing numbers are coming down with lung disease and other respiratory conditions, according to doctors. At Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, 40 per cent of lung cancers were diagnosed in women, compared with only a quarter a few decades ago - and the rate was rising across both sexes, said Dr Mohammed Jaloudi, chief of medical oncology at Tawam.

"You don't need to be a physician to see that more women are smoking shisha. You just need to look in the cafes." Dr Bassam Mahboub, a chest physician and vice chairman of the Emirates Respiratory Society, said: "We do not know how many ladies smoke shisha, as they go to a private area of a cafe and smoke, but we are in the process of conducting research to determine how prevalent water-pipe shisha smoking has become."

He warned that smoking-related diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, would increase substantially in the next five or 10 years, and called for antismoking campaigns aimed at women to be set up in maternity hospitals and health centres. "When women come for a pregnancy test they should be asked about this and encouraged to stop, and quit-smoking clinics should be there to help them."It shows that the health risks of smoking are not just about cigarettes."

amcmeans@thenational.ae