Cairo - An Egyptian governor has banned shisha waterpipe smoking in coffee shops to stop employees from skipping work, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Monday.
The ban was introduced on Sunday in all cities of Qena governorate in central Egypt, Qena Governor Adel Labib was quoted by al-Wafd newspaper as saying.
Labib said he had noticed workers playing truant to go sit in cafes and smoke the popular "hubbly-bubbly" pipes.
Shisha smoking is widely popular among both men and women in Egypt, with coffee shops serving a wide array of flavoured tobacco such as apple, strawberry and rose.
Cafes which contravened the ban would be closed and face a fine of 500 Egyptian pounds (about R1 100), the paper said. Smokers would be fined 100 pounds for breaking the rule.