Why is Hookah Bad For Your Health?
Hookahs are water pipes for smoking made by tobacco. There are many flavors like chocolate, mint, cherry, apple, licorice, coconut, watermelon, and cappuccino. According to Action on Smoking and Health, in 2012 and 2013, 12% of adults use hookahs in the UK and 1% frequently use them. The common misconception of hookah is that it is less harmless than cigarette smoking but the truth is that it is actually more harmful.
The use of hookah began centuries ago in Ancient Persia and India. There are now new forms of electronic hookah smoking like hookah pens and steam stones and there are many hookah cafes in countries such as France, Britain, Russia, the United States, and the Middle East. Hookah smoking can be very social where everyone passes the same mouthpiece around but that can also be an easier way to pass down infections. The same harmful toxins that can be found in cigarette smoke can be associated with respiratory illness, lung cancer, and low birth weight. You can smoke more hookah in a longer period of time compared to cigarettes. Hookah smokers also absorb a higher concentration of smoke than with cigarettes based on the frequency of puffing, the length of time smoking, and the depth of inhalation.
The charcoal to heat the tobacco in a hookah increases the health risks by making smoke that contains high levels of metals, carbon monoxide, and cancer-causing chemicals. One hour of a hookah smoking session can be two hundred smokes whereas the average for cigarette smoking is twenty puffs. 90,000 milliliters of smoke is inhaled in a hookah compared to the 500-600 milliliters inhaled with a cigarette. There are several toxic agents in hookahs that are known to cause bladder, lung, and oral cancer. The tobacco juices can also increase the risk of oral cancer as well as irritate the mouth. Hookahs can clog arteries and heart disease and babies can be at risk of respiratory diseases if pregnant women smoke them.
Because there is little information about the risks of electronic tobacco products, it is important for regulators, health care professionals, and the public to know about the risks of hookah smoking. Hookahs and hookah tobacco should have strong health warnings as well as for hookahs to have the same regulations as cigarette smoke. The dangers of hookah must be taken seriously to prevent the public thinking that hookahs are safe.