Women shisha
Women smoke water pipes in a public cafe in downtown Cairo [Representational Image].Reuters

A Kuwaiti woman has lost the custody of her children after she was allegedly accused of spending hours smoking shisha outside the family home. A local family court said that from the evidence gathered, the mother would devote more time to smoking shisha than looking after her children.

This made for a strong case for the woman to be considered socially unfit to raise her children and look after their well-being, the Gulf News reported. Smoking shisha (pipe) for a long duration was considered a legal ground to remove the custodian rights, following concerns that her children would not get social and moral upbringing and education.

According to legal experts quoted by the Middle East publication, the legal ground could also be used for filing cases by "unhappy" mothers against the ex-husbands. Some lawyers told the Gulf News that a few wives would resort to heavy smoking in a bid to force their husbands to file for divorce.

In Saudi Arabia, in 2012, a judge started a new trend of using smoking as a major factor in deciding granting the custody of children to their parents. 

"A parent could now lose the custody case if he or she is proven to be a smoker. Under the emerging trend, the smoking factor is now being treated like the drinking factor and can decide the outcome of the custody case," a legal official was quoted as saying by the publication.

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