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Rwanda: Shisha trade and smoking banned after Tanzania

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Rwanda has banned smoking of water-pipe tobacco, popularly known as shisha, starting Friday.

Rwanda becomes the second country in Africa to ban shisha smoking after Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli imposed the ban in July last year.

Other countries with similar bans are Pakistan, Jordan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

The Rwanda Health ministry has also outlawed the importation, advertising and smoking of shisha within its territory over health concerns.

In a public notice effective December 15, 2017, the ministry warns of sanctions to those who flout the ban arguing that “…shisha tobacco smoking is damaging, addictive and dangerous on human lives.

“The smoke that emerges from a water-pipe contains numerous toxicants known to cause lung cancer, heart diseases, just to name a few,” reads the communication from Health Minister Diane Gashumba.

World Health Organisation (WHO), in a recent advisory note to regulators, revealed that smoking shisha posed grave health risks.

In a single session, it said, shisha smokers can inhale smoke of 100 or more cigarettes.

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“Cigarette smokers typically take eight to 12 cigarettes with a 40 to 75 millimetre puffs and inhaled 0.5 to 0.6 litres of smoke unlike shisha smoking sessions which typically last 20 to 80 minutes, during which the smoker may take 50 to 200 puffs which range from about 0.15 to 1 litre each,” it said.

Shisha smoking has become increasingly popular among young people in Africa, including in Kenya.

It goes by several names including hookah tobacco, maassel, narghile and argileh and comes in several flavours including fruity, minty, rich and creamy.

The highly toxic tobacco substance is smoked using a hookah (waterpipe).

The smoke exposes the user to the addictive chemical nicotine as well as tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals such as arsenic and lead.

People are drawn to it for being ‘cool’, with patrons flocking to shisha parlours saying it is harmless.

A common belief is that the risks of tobacco are reduced since it is purified as it passes through the water.

On the contrary, WHO insists that even after it has been passed through water, the smoke produced contains high levels of toxic compounds— including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals.

Shisha smoke is associated with increased risk of disease— cancer, heart and lung complications.

It is also known to cause problems during pregnancy among female smokers.

The side effects may not be immediately noticeable but just like cigarettes, the harmful fumes slowly damage certain parts of the body of a shisha smoker over time.

24 Hours Across Africa

Facebook suspends thousands of apps in response to Cambridge Analytica row

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Facebook Inc said, it has suspended tens of thousands of apps on the social networking platform, as part of the company’s ongoing app developer investigation it began in March 2018 in response to the Cambridge Analytica row.

The suspended apps are associated with about 400 developers, Facebook said, adding that it is not necessarily an indication that these apps were posing a threat to users.

Earlier this year, the company agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to resolve a government probe into its privacy practices.

The FTC privacy probe was triggered last year by allegations that Facebook violated a 2012 consent decree and inappropriately shared information of 87 million users with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook has since agreed to boost safeguards on user data and has put curbs on the amount of information that third-party developers can request from platform users.

“… We’re making progress. We won’t catch everything, and some of what we do catch will be with help from others outside Facebook,” the company said in a blogpost.

Source: Reuters

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24 Hours Across Africa

Female robber escaping through a window at the bank

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A female robber trying to escaping through the window after robbing a bank in Adum area of Kumasi in Ghana.

In the video, the lady threw the money down from the window and jumped down to get the money, but she was caught and arrested by the bank’s security operatives.

The details of the lady is still unknown as at the time of filling this report

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