Shisha Tobacco Regulations

Shisha tobacco also known as, Hookeh, waterpipe, narghile, maassel or argileh tobacco. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) it is an evidence based treaty that protects people from bad health and environmental consequences of tobacco.

In this case, FCTC regulates the manufacturing of shisha tobacco, its packaging and labeling and advertisement promotion.

Tobacco as a wide spread commodity throughout the world, here as some of the regulations it has:

Shisha Tobacco Regulations in United Kingdom

Warnings on Shisha Tobacco Packaging
Warnings on Shisha Tobacco Packaging

London Boroughs legal requirements of shisha tobacco focuses on:

· Excise Duty

Exercise duty is a tax levied on all shisha product in UK to discourage the consumption and in result it also raises the revenue for the government. Importation of shisha tobacco in UK requires payment of excise duty to the ‘’Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’’ (HMRC). Of course, this as the main government department in United Kingdom responsible for collection of taxes and duties. The rates of the excise duty changes annually and announced during the annual budget update.

· Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 in United Kingdom States that:

Shisha Tobacco Packaging
Shisha Tobacco Packaging
  1. Removal of promotional features on all shisha tobacco products.
  2. United Kingdom duty paid mark should be displayed on the package as the displayed text information like the brand name, weight of the product, producer details and barcode should be in a standardized format.
  3. The packaging must be a specific shape and in one color to reduce the appeal of shisha products.

· Shisha Tobacco Lounge Design Restriction

All shisha tobacco businesses need to have an external lounge for their customers to smoke. Therefore the planning needs to be approved first and the space require permission before use.

· Act 1991 Children Protection from Tobacco

It is illegal to sell any tobacco product to people under the age of 18 years therefore businesses need to take necessary precautions and due diligence before sales.

· Health Act 2006

It is illegal to shisha in an enclosed space smoke including work space and public areas. Here is a copy of policy guidance for Shisha Tobacco in the UK.

United States of America Shisha Tobacco Regulations

In the United States, the focus is on:

· Importation of Shisha Tobacco

Shish Hookah
Shish Hookah

All importation of shisha tobacco products need to comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules. The importers need to have the following:

  • FDA code
  • Origin of production
  • Contact such as email and phone number for importer records
  • Brand name

Here are some useful resources:

Exporting required elements include:

  • Exports permits are required
  • Declaration of quantity and value of shisha tobacco products being exported to customs authority
  • The shisha products that are going to be exported need to meet quality and safety standards set by the destination country

When exporting shisha tobacco outside of the United States, you don’t need to report to FDA. Shisha tobacco product need to be:

  • Labeled on the shipping package before exportation
  • The shisha products that are going to be exported need to meet quality and safety standards set by the destination country.

· Shisha Tobacco Products Manufacturing Packaging and Labeling Regulations

A manufacturer is required to comply with FDAs regulations under tobacco

  • One must register their establishment and produce a list of products being produces
  • Ingredient list must be provided
  • Provide quantities of harmful constituents
  • Submit FDAs authorization to market your tobacco product
  • Provide health documents
  • Warning plan should be presented for new branding before distribution

Clear health warning must be displayed on the package to put awareness in the public of the risks associated with it. The picture or illustration of the warning should cover substantial amount on the package to illustrate the health risks of consuming shish tobacco.

The shisha packaging needs to be plain in color or a standardized colors and fonts for the brand name instead of texts or logos.

Scotland Shisha Tobacco Regulations

Scotland aimed in protecting public health by putting in place strict regulations against all shisha tobacco products. Shisha tobacco as a lit and smoked product, it must comply with the smoke free legislation in Scotland which do not allow smoking it in an enclosed space.

Every place or retailer selling tobacco products including shisha tobacco in Scotland must be registered.

First on the Scottish Retailers Register, then follow all the rules regarding shisha tobacco in Failure to these, any person found will be charged, given a fine of up to €20,000 and detained for six months.

These rules entail:

  • Ensure to have a public sign showing selling of shisha tobacco products is prohibited to people below the age 18.
  • Have a graphic symbol to indicate ‘NO SMOKING ‘of about a diameter of not less than 80mm.
  • Selling shisha tobacco products that are paid through UK duty (HMRC).

Any person found not following the tobacco sales legislation will be given a penalty notice according to the offences committed. These will be put on record to monitor if it will be repeated with the same retailer.

A retailer who is found breaking that law three times in two years, will be banned from selling any of the tobacco products. Usually, this include shisha tobacco if the local authority takes the matter to court.

Canada Shisha Tobacco Regulations

Canada also has its set of rules and regulations when it comes to shisha tobacco. Among the key fundamental aspects you must consider are:

· Packaging and Labeling Regulations

Tobacco Products, Appearance, packaging and Labelling Regulations (TPAPLR) proclaimed that all tobacco packages should have health warnings on them.

These includes short and clear health message that are well displayed on the package and very impactful since it is easy to remember.

Here is a useful resources on hookah regulation in Canada.

· Importation and Manufacturing Regulations

Those importing and manufacturing of shisha products must submit information about their product details including; list of ingredient, research, report over 20 constituents of tobacco and 40 substance found in the smoke.

It is very expensive to start a manufacturing shisha tobacco product business because manufactured tobacco product are taxed highly. Shipping of shisha product is illegal for retail purpose. In fact, most of the provinces in Canada has banned flavored tobacco.

· Tobacco Access Regulations

Canada has strict tobacco access regulations including age restrictions that are put in place before tobacco purchase. Documentation are set out to be used to verify the age of a person intending to buy.

The regulation also does not allow self-service display when selling tobacco products according to section 11 of the Act.

· Promotion of Shisha Tobacco

Tobacco packaging including shisha tobacco needs to display graphic health warning that covers a significant part of the package. Again retailers are only allowed to advertise on point of sale to prevent enticing displays which may lead to encouraging the use of tobacco.

Furthermore, media is also restricted from advertising tobacco product including shisha tobacco.


Clearly even though shisha tobacco use is growing in popularity, there are many rules and regulation that control its use globally. More importantly, these shisha tobacco regulations vary from one state to another.

For all your shisha tobacco products, Jochamp is here to help – contact us now.

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