Doctors applaud Dubai Municipality ban

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  • The Doctors at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai praised the initiative by Dubai Municipality as the health implications of secondhand or third hand smoke are numerous on an unborn child

Recently Dubai Municipality launched a public service health campaign banning pregnant women from entering shisha cafes even if they do not intend to smoke it. The ban also includes young children and toddlers. The Doctors at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai praised the initiative by Dubai Municipality as the health implications of secondhand or third hand smoke are numerous on an unborn child.

“Even if a pregnant woman is not smoking, she is exposed to second hand smoke at a shisha café which is known to contain over 4000 types of harmful chemicals and this can cause miscarriage, low birth weight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is also known to result in intrauterine growth restriction, where a fetus does not grow at the normal rate in the womb of the mother. The main reasons for this are poor oxygen circulation in the uterus and lack of nutrients from the mother,” said Dr. Maryam Raufi, Specialist Gynecologist at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai. “The detrimental health effects of being exposed to secondhand smoke at pregnancy are also seen in toddlers. A study done by Columbia University’s Centre for Children’s Environmental Health showed that children, whose mothers were exposed to secondhand smoke when they were pregnant, scored lower on cognitive tests at the age of 2 than children whose mothers were only in smoke free environments.”

“Mothers to be also do not realize the dangers of being exposed to third hand smoke. This is the residue of smoke left behind on furniture, rugs and clothing etc. Even people are not smoking around you at a shisha café you are still exposing your unborn child to the dangerous residue left behind. If a mother to be touches something with residual smoke, the harmful chemicals are absorbed through the skin into the blood stream which in turn is passed on to the fetus,” she continued.[ads1]

And according to the Los Angeles Research Institute this third hand smoke can affect prenatal lung development.

Dr. Maryam also applauded that the new ban extending to include toddlers and young children.

“Exposure to second hand smoke also negatively affects the immune system of young kids. They are more likely to suffer from allergies, ear infections, colds, coughs, respiratory ailments like bronchitis and also teeth decay,” she continued. “Children who are routinely exposed to secondhand smoke will have a harder time shaking of the flu, colds and coughs leading to them missing school quite often. In the long term, these children will grow with poor lung development and will be more susceptible to lung cancer and heart disease.”

“Banning pregnant women, toddlers and young children from entering shisha cafes even if they are not smoking it is a great initiative by Dubai Municipality. Our ongoing commitment to the betterment of the health of UAE’s residents is keeping in line with their efforts to raise awareness on the health implications of various diseases,” said Dr. Mohamed Berer, the Medical Director at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai.

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