Leena Sankla Project Director, Solutions 4 Health, Reading
Throughout England, smoking the water pipe shisha has become a trendy pursuit for the young. It is usually shared between friends and is seen to be an enjoyable and relaxing experience. However, very few understand the shocking truth. Our team of researchers carried out a field study and spoke to a number of users on their perceived risks and undertook carbon monoxide readings at various time over a typically 60 minute session. This showed readings spinning to at least four times more than the amount produced by one cigarette!
The poster presentation will share the results of this study, undertaken with a cohort of 87 participants, some dual users (cigarettes & Shisha) and the readings taken at 15 minute intervals. The CO readings of our research team were also taken showing the impact of ‘passive’ smoking
Another key issue within the South Asian community is tobacco chewing, and how it is a culturally acceptable and a norm. Following a series of test purchases, these products were readily available and were sold in attractive packages, in some cases near the sweet counter from as little as 20p per single packet.
Leena Sankla is a Public Health consultant and has overall responsibility for a number smoking cessation and chronic disease self-management projects, being rolled out across England that are commissioned by PCT’s. Her particular expertise is in reaching hard to reach groups, specifically Black Minority & Ethnic (BME) groups, socially deprived groups and routine and manual workers. She has a long-standing knowledge of smoking and tobacco control, including shisha use and tobacco chewing and delivers these courses to healthcare professionals.
She has worked closely with Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and is a Master Trainer on Chronic Disease Self Management & Diabetes Self Management from Stanford University.