Hubbly could soon face restrictions

Martin Endjala

Tobacco use and exposure, is amongst one of the leading factors for non-communicable diseases, which is a major public health threat globally and a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality.

This was said in the National Assembly by the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Esther Utjiua-Muinjangue, yesterday in remembrance of World Health Day.

The deputy minister express concern with the high rate of the use of tobacco products and hooker pipes or hubbly bubblies among the youth.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) study carried out in 2015 over 1.1 billion people smoked tobacco, translating into around 15 percent of the global population.

It is estimated that around 6-7 million people each year die due to tobacco consumption health related diseases. The WHO has found Namibia to have a high prevalence rate of tobacco use and it is ranked at 8th in Africa, with Lesotho topping the list, followed by Malaysia, Seychelles, South Africa and Madagascar.

The Promenaded Tobacco Act 1 of 2020 of tobacco products, which states that any product containing tobacco, which is intended for human consumption, which includes filters, pipes, shoes or similar objects manufactured for use of tobacco is one of the regulatory measures that Namibia has adopted.

Flavoured tobacco, attached to many pipes, and cooked by passing it in a container prior to use or inhaling is used in hubbly bubblies. The MOHSS has also learned that people sometimes use other substances, Muinjangue said.

In response to MPs, on what measures are put in place to regulate hubblies the deputy minister said that the Act regulates the use of hubbly bubbly.

To date MOHSS has not conducted any research pertaining to health risks related issues to using hubbly.

Muinjangue, however, pointed out that, the ministry is planning to conduct research during 2022-2023, while, concurring that research conducted by other organizations, have indicated smoking hubbly to be deadly and addictive.

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