The Maldives’ Health Protection Agency (HPA) has expressed concern over the display of hookah smokers at the Cultural Festival organized by the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation, according to a story in Haveeru Online.
People smoking hookahs were shown during the festival as representing one of the age-old but dying Maldivian traditions and customs.
Some television channels, it was claimed, had been broadcasting such scenes without the required warnings about the harmful effects of smoking, which was in contravention of the Tobacco Act.
HPA epidemiologist Dr. Aishath Aroona said on Saturday that the agency had held discussions with the relevant authorities about hookah smoking being displayed in such a promotional manner.
She said that only ‘good’ customs should be promoted as part of Maldivian culture, while smoking the hookah – being harmful to health – was not a good custom.