By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has waded into the viral video of five female students in school uniform smoking what is called “Shisha,” with the order for the rehabilitation of the identified pupils.
Recall that the disturbing video which trended on social media has received wide condemnation from concerned Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora, calling for sanction against the pupils and their parents.
Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, the state government, through the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth and Social Development, subsequently, identified the female pupils and the school in the state.
They were subsequently, identified as students of Oreyo Senior Grammar School, Igbogbo, Ikorodu area of the state.
It was gathered that the identified students were later suspended by the school authorities while the state government has ordered for their rehabilitation with immediate effect.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, confirmed the development when contacted.
Tokunbo, who directed our corespondent to the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, for further information, said “appropriate steps are been taken to address the issue with the aim of preventing future occurrence in the state.
“The appropriate ministry is already intervening. You see why the role of parents is so critical. We can’t leave everything to government and school. This is heart wrenching.”
Meanwhile, our correspondent could not get the comments of the Commissioner at press time.
Shisha smoking is a way of inhaling tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through the mouthpiece of a bowl hose or tube1. Although the practice of shisha smoking started in the Middle East, it has spread to several other parts of the world, including Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the prevalence rate of shisha smoking, especially among the youth, is rising, making it an issue of public health concern.
The rising prevalence of shisha smoking in Nigeria can be attributed to the increase in the openings of new shisha lounges/bars, subtle advertisement of shisha in public places, social acceptance of shisha smoking, peer influence, and public misconceptions about the safety profile of shisha use.
In a recent study conducted in Ibadan, Oyo State, 633 patrons of selected nightclubs were interviewed in order to obtain information on prevalence, correlates and predictors of shisha smoking.
The results showed overall prevalence of shisha smoking as 7.1 per cent. The age of initiation into shisha smoking was lower among women, p = 0.03, but men were significantly more likely to be more frequent users, daily or weekly users, p<0.001 and also to be current cigarette smokers, p = 0.03.
There was no significant gender variability in the stage of readiness to quit. Regression analysis showed that after adjusting for age, the predictors of shisha smoking were: cigarette smoking, OR = 4.83, 95 per cent CI (1.49-15.70) and more than 12 years of education, OR = 7.55, 95 per cent CI (1.88 – 30.37), while being a rural dweller was a protective factor, OR = 0.05, 95 per cent CI (0.01-0.20).