Hookah: a sinister ever-growing danger
Hookah is a tobacco product.
Despite the well-known health risks and increased mortality associated with smoking cigarettes, the public opinion’s level of awareness regarding the dangers of hookah is very low. Hookah is a tobacco product and like all tobacco products it is known to cause many deadly diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and respiratory disease. Even though its smoke passes through water, it contains high levels of toxic materials and it is scientifically proven to cause diseases such as lung cancer, bladder cancer and mouth cancer.
One Hookah session, Fifty Cigarettes
According to research conducted by the World Health Organization in 2005, hookah users may inhale as much smoke during one hookah session as a cigarette smoker would inhale consuming 50 cigarettes. Hookah smoke contains very high levels of toxic and volatile chemicals (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, methacrolein, propionaldehyde). Hookah users inhale its smoke for a much longer period of time, causing greater exposure to harmful elements and increasing the risk of COPD. The toxic substances resulting from burning the sugar in flavorful tobacco and the interaction of these substances with nicotine increase the addictiveness of hookah. It is well known that the tobacco industry particularly targets the youth by using sugary and flavorful additives in shisha tobacco. Their purpose is to make smoking the shisha tobacco a smoother experience suitable to the palate of the youth while also increasing its addictiveness.
The risk of contagious diseases
Hookah use causes many contagious diseases to spread, such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and herpes. Changing the mouth tips in order to be hygienic when sharing the hookah doesn’t reduce the risk of contagious diseases. Inside the hookah pipe, along its walls, a microbial and bacterial layer forms, causing diseases to spread from one person to another by respiratory means. Hookah has become increasingly prevalent since the 1990s and has turned into a global public health issue. The flavorful additives which make smoking hookah a smoother experience has greatly contributed to the increasing prevalence of hookah use and is especially targeting the youth.
6 million people die every year!
6 million people lose their lives every year because of tobacco-related illness. The World Health Organization predicts that this number could exceed 8 million by year 2030 if no further precautions are taken. Hookah has increased in popularity since the 90s and it is becoming an increasingly prevailing problem.
Water does not purify hookah smoke
The hookah basically consists of the tobacco bowl, pipe stem, base bottle, and the hose (or pipe). The smoke is easier on the throat to inhale after passing through water and cooling, however, despite prevalent public opinion, this in no way eliminates the health risks of tobacco. Additives such as menthol, liquor or vanilla which mask the unpleasant taste of tobacco are the most important reasons for youth to prefer smoking hookah. It is most common for hookah to be shared with two or more people, and its smoke contains serious levels of carbon monoxide, heavy metals and carcinogenic chemicals. It is very misleading to present hookah as a healthier alternative to cigarettes. The amounts of various substances found in shisha tobacco, such as arsenic, nickel, cobalt, chrome, and lead, are much higher than that of cigarette tobacco.