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Hookah Health Risks

Let's know if smoking hookah has any health risks.
Rajib Singha Apr 10, 2019
Most people may have the notion that hookah smoking poses less threat to health than cigarette smoking. The water in a hookah is supposed to filter out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke. Also, as the water cools down the smoke and makes it less irritating, users take this as a sense of security, and less harmful to their health.
However, the case is not what it seems to be or projected. According to studies and findings by the World Health Organization (WHO), hookah health risks are no less detrimental than those caused by smoking cigarettes...

Health Effects of Hookah

☞ According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contrary to what most believe, the water in a hookah does not make the smoke originating from heating tobacco, any less toxic. It still contains high concentration of tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and toxic compounds. The smoke also consists of cancer causing agents known as carcinogens.
As it is with smoking cigarette, hookah smoking is also an open invitation to a number of oral health problems. Common ones include stained and unsightly teeth, foul breath and oral cancer.
Wood cinders or charcoal are used as fuel to heat the tobacco for hookah. When such substances are burned, they produce potent chemicals, including carbon monoxide. And this is why many researchers say that hookah is more dangerous. What happens here is, the already ill effects of tobacco smoke are intensified by the smoke from the heat source.
If we go by what has been discovered by the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre, a single session of smoking water pipe exposes the body to carbon monoxide levels which are 4 to 5 times higher than that in the case of one cigarette.
Spread of infectious diseases among hookah users is also a serious health warning which most people ignore. Not using disposable mouthpieces, and sharing a single one, may put people at risk of contracting diseases like herpes and tuberculosis.
Not to mention, severe medical conditions like emphysema, lung diseases, shortness of breath, chronic cough, brain damage, stomach cancer, lung cancer, and cancer of the esophagus, are also on the list of the risks. A severe, incurable condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also a risk of smoking hookah.
Expecting mothers who smoke hookah stay vulnerable to have babies with lower birth weight. Such babies are also susceptible to develop respiratory diseases.

Which is Worse - Hookah or Cigarette?

A hookah session typically lasts for more than 40 minutes, whereas, a cigarette hardly lasts more than 5 minutes. So, it is obvious that hookah smokers actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers, in one session.
There are 50 to 200 inhalations in a session of hookah. And each inhalation accounts for 0.15 to 0.50 liters of smoke.

✔ Another study showed that a person smoking hookah for about an hour consumes about 70% more nicotine than he would by smoking a cigarette.
Furthermore, one hour of hookah smoking equals 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a fag. Not to mention, hookah requires deep inhalation, which again adds to the absorption of toxic from the tobacco.
The health risks of smoking hookah are no less damaging than in the case of cigarette smoking. In fact, according to the Tobacco Control Collaboration Centre, hookah is 400 to 450 times worse than a cigarette. As cited already, most people easily ignore all such health warnings, and some do not even consider hookah as smoking.
The decked out settings of hookah bars, the smooth smell, taste and less irritating nature of the hookah smoke creates an inviting and seemingly less-harmful atmosphere for people. But baring all such phony features of this culture of smoking, it is nothing but a bag full of sicknesses and painful rewards.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.