Tanzania’s Zanzibar Island announces ban on vape and hookah

Authorities on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar plan to ban the import and consumption of hookahs and e-cigarettes, but hookahs are so popular in tourist resorts and restaurants that a ban could result in a huge loss of revenue, according to the Tanzanian newspaper The Citizen.


Masoud Ali Mohammed, the island’s minister for the president’s office, regional administration and local government departments, said in a statement to the public that the government would soon issue a special directive.


“The consumption of hookahs and e-cigarettes has become commonplace, and we will enact special regulations to govern those who are licensed to specifically import and sell hookahs or e-cigarettes.”


The ban will also affect current importers, who are advised not to stock up and instead contact authorities for new instructions.


When existing stocks are depleted, importers will be asked not to order more products to comply with the new law the government will soon enact, the minister said.


According to a local hotelier, hookahs are very popular in tourist resorts and restaurants and the ban could result in a huge loss of revenue.


This is not the first time Tanzania has imposed a ban, as Dar es Salaam District Commissioner of Administration Paul Makonda has imposed a total ban on hookahs in Dar es Salaam.


As a result, some 500 hookah containers remained stranded at the Dar es Salaam port as of April 2021. However, the ban was later reversed and today hookah is making a comeback in most bars in Tanzania.