Many people believe that because hookahs employ a water bowl, it makes them safer by drawing the smoke through the water.A new study reveals just how harmful hookah smoking really is.
Hookahs are water pipes from which people can smoke specially made tobacco with flavors, including apple, mint, cherry, chocolate and watermelon.Although cigarette smoking rates are beginning to fall, more people are using hookahs to smoke tobacco.
To conduct their research, the team at University of Pittsburg in the US conducted a meta-analysis, which is a mathematical summary of previously published data. The benefit of a meta-analysis is that it produces more precise estimates based on available data.
Their research revealed that one hookah session delivers about 125 times the smoke, 25 times the tar, 2.5 times the nicotine and 10 times the carbon monoxide of a single cigarette.
The researchers acknowledge that comparing a single hookah smoking session to smoking a single cigarette is problematic, due to smoking pattern differences.For example, a regular cigarette smoker may smoke 20 cigarettes each day, while a regular hookah smoker may only use a hookah a few times each day.
Though the estimates cannot tell us exactly which is 'worse', what the research suggests is that hookah smokers are exposed to a lot more toxicants than they probably realize. Researchers now aim to gain more fine-grained data about usage frequencies and patterns, so that they will be in a position to combine those data with these findings and get a better sense of relative overall toxicant load.
According to doctors, hookah smokers may be at risk for some of the same diseases smokers face, including oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, reduced lung function and reduced fertility.