Experts from several Bulgarian ministries propose the smoking of hookah to be banned for people under 18 years of age, reported the Bulgarian National Television.
Svetlana Yordanova, Deputy Minister of Health says that smoking of hookah, according to the opinion of experts, is more harmful than cigarette smoking.
The ban will require changes to three laws – on health, on tobacco and on taxes and excise.
The Deputy Minister of Health explained that there will be a discussion on possibilities to ban the smoking of hookah and plant mixtures by persons under 18 years of age. “Of course we will take into account opinions of other competent authorities and non-governmental organizations as well as opinions of parents who are directly affected by this practices”, she added.
Smoking with hookah has become a sort of a craze among teenagers in Bulgaria recently. The subject became popular after the 11-year-old Nicole from Burgas was killed allegedly by a 15 year old boy over a dispute on whether to smoke hookah or not.
By the end of September, lectures will be organized in schools to explain to children and their parents about the harms of smoking hookah.
Svetlana Yordanova says that the process of burning itself and the tars inhaled during the burning process, regardless of whether they come from dried apples, fruits, herbs, etc., are carcinogenic and in practice are more harmful than smoking cigarettes.
It is expected that within one month, the working group will be ready with its proposals for legislative changes.