The Ho Chi Minh City government has urged the Ministry of Health to place the tobacco used in the hookah in the list of harmful products that are banned.
According to the city people's committee, the shisha -- Arabic for hookah -- is much more harmful to human health than cigarettes but in Vietnam a lot of shisha products are provided to youths.
A recent study by the World Health Organization and the National Program on Tobacco Harm Prevention found shisha smoking increasing the risk of cancer and other oral diseases.
A 2005 WHO report said smoking a water pipe poses a serious health threat and is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
Shisha is currently not banned in Vietnam, and is in fact a lucrative business fetching high profits.
Shisha smokers in large cities like HCMC and Hanoi are mostly young professionals, university students, teenagers, and foreign tourists.