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Physicians ask cabinet to revoke decision on shisha

23-6-2020

The president of the Order of Physicians in Beirut, Sharaf Abu Sharaf, said during his June 19 press conference that the tourism ministry’s decision to allow hookah services at Lebanese restaurants and cafes (https://bit.ly/2V9lEWa) in the time of corona has confused the medical, social and youth circles. He underlined the need to continue to disallow the use of shisha in public places, requesting a stricter observance of the No Smoking Law. Similarly, the Consumer Protection department outlined in a statement, the grave health risks associated with smoking and the risk of infection with coronavirus, to say nothing about the act of sharing various parts and accessories of the hookah itself. This jeopardizes social distancing and health standards while contributing to reducing the immune responsiveness and increasing the risk of respiratory infection, the statement explained. The latter called on the minister of tourism to reverse his decision immediately to prevent undermining health efforts taken so far to confront Covid-19. In response to the Consumer Protection statement, the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants pointed out that smoking in closed touristic venues is unlawful, cautioning that smoking will be allowed outdoors only with the application of stringent precautions. The Consumer Protection department has more important matters to take care of… the tourism sector is our subject and we know better what is good for the industry…. ( Al Diyar, June 21, 2020)

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