Over 45 individuals were arrested for smoking shisha at various locations in Nyali, Mombasa County in a recent night raid conducted by special officers from the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA). The operation targeted hidden shisha joints, resulting in the apprehension of suspects, including the proprietor and manager. More than 50 shisha pots and over 10 cartons of unique shisha flavors were seized during the raid.

NACADA CEO Anthony Amerikwa emphasized the agency’s commitment to intensifying similar raids across the country to combat shisha addiction. Shisha smoking has been banned in Kenya since 2017, covering its use, import, manufacture, distribution, and promotion. The crackdown aims to enforce compliance with the law and reduce alcohol and drug abuse.

Amerikwa stated that information led them to joints selling shisha, and upon accessing the premises, 38 suspects, including 29 males, were apprehended. The seized shisha pots and over 700 shisha ingredients will undergo assessment by the Government Chemist to verify their contents. The sites will be treated as crime scenes, and charges will be updated based on the chemical analysis.

The NACADA CEO called on proprietors to operate within the law, emphasizing that the agency will not relent in its efforts to combat illegal activities related to alcohol and drug abuse. The crackdown, initiated in December 2023, is part of a long-term plan to eradicate the vice in the nation.

Shisha smoking, also known as a water pipe, hookah, or hubble-bubble, has faced comprehensive bans in East African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Offenders in Kenya may face fines starting at Sh50,000 or a minimum jail term of six months for contravening shisha-related regulations.

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