LAHORE - A new form of addiction hitherto unknown 'Sheesha is fast spreading in the provincial metropolis, like the other parts of the country which is hitting hard the young generation especially the students. 'Sheesha is like bubble-bubble smoking commonly known as hookah but the ingredients that are used in it are injurious to health, doctors say. The flavoured water is used with a mixture of rudimentary types of tobacco fermented with different fruits and their odour having the natural smell of tobacco and nicotine. The cost of a single session with simple flavour ranges from Rs200 to Rs1,200. The data collected by a non governmental organisation (NGO) in collaboration with a team of paramedical staff shows that out of total 275,500 people who smoke Sheesha more than 80,000 are in Punjab, near 39,500 in Islamabad, 38,000 in Khyber PK, 45,000 in Sindh, nearly 35,000 in Balochistan, more than 20,000 in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and nearly 18,000 people in Gilgit-Baltistan reportedly smoke Sheesha everyday. According to statistics, Islamabad has topped the list of the cities where this menace is spreading. Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Karachi, Haiderabad, Quetta, Jacobabad, Peshawar, Nowshehra, Muzaffarabad, Hajiabad, Holar, Gilgit and Sakardu are other cities where Sheesha houses are growing in numbers. At least four main stores located at Bhaati Chowk (near Ravi Bridge) and in Thokar Niaz Baig areas are selling Sheesha. Most of the youths including girls and boys under 18 visit Sheesha Houses, cafes, restaurants, hotels and clubs located in DHA, Model Town, Johar Town, Allama Iqbal Town, The Mall, Board of Revenue Society, MM Alam Road Gulberg, Tech Society and in other areas of the City to use Sheesha on daily basis especially in the evening. Saima Khan, a Punjab University student, claimed to have seen a restaurant, located in DHA where boys and girls of elite class were puffing Sheesha on Monday last. She further said a couple of girls told her that their parents were unaware of their falling prey to the addiction. Jinnah Hospital Chief Executive and Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College Prof Dr Javed Akram termed Sheesha a harmful drug and urged the parliamentarians to frame effective laws in order to save the young generation. He said cocaine, heroine, hashish and marijuana were being used in Sheesha thus it was difficult to deny that it had no harmful effects. I am available to prove with papers regarding Sheesha if the parliamentarians are serious in saving the children of the nation, he remarked. Dr Javed Akram further said that according to world health organisations the Sheesha has also been categorised as a drug, which could cause diseases like cancer. Javed Akram said Sheesha must be subjected to the same regulations as cigarettes and other tobacco products having the same health warnings as cigarette packets have. It is worth mentioning here that a report issued some days back from Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and Allied Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, concludes as, Sheesha smoking as well as cigarette smoking, will produce similar harmful effects on the function of ventilatory capacity of both male and female subjects and increase the risk of developing obstructive airway disease, with Sheesha smokers being at a greater risk. Reports by the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society (published in 2008) have also shown the water used to filter the smoke does not work efficiently to remove all the harmful chemicals.