Hookah smoking is being introduced to people as a healthy alternative for cigarette smoking. People are being told that smoking a hookah is safer and will not cause you any harm. Moreover, it is also seen as a recreational activity, which is why numerous bars and cafes providing the people a chance to smoke a hookah have opened up in every nook and corner of the country.
However, scientific research has yielded some startling results which all point to the fact that hookah smoking is not as safe as it had been proclaimed earlier. Researchers have found that smoking from a hookah has harmful effects on the health of a human being much like smoking a cigarette and in some ways it is even more dangerous than cigarette smoking. This article explains how Hookah works and in which aspects it does harm to your body.
How does Hookah Work?
A Hookah in essence is a container that has water present in it. This water container has a smoking chamber in which a unique type of tobacco is kept and slowly heated, converting the tobacco into smoke. The smoking chamber has a large bowl connected to it in which water is present for cooling the smoke coming from the smoking chamber. This cooled smoke is then delivered to the mouth of the hookah smoker through a small hose which acts as the devices’ mouthpiece.
You might feel that the water present in the hookah is for diluting the smoke and ridding it of the toxins that are contained in it, but sadly this is not the case. With nothing to dilute the toxins, the smoke is just as injurious to the health of the smoker as a real cigarette smoke would be for him. Furthermore, the hookah provides a smoker a chance to smoke for an extended period of time which can range up to an hour filling his lungs with more smoke than he would have done if he were smoking a cigarette.
Is Hookah Smoking Bad for You?
All of the new researches made about the safety of hookah smoking have revealed that hookah smoke is just as harmful for the health of a person as cigarette smoke. A recent study made in this regard which found its way into the August edition of the Respirology magazine last year stated that hookah smoke is responsible for causing similar diseases and respiratory disorders that have become the hallmark of cigarette smoke. From coughing to wheezing and chest congestion, all the symptoms suffered by a regular hookah smoker are the same that plague a person who smokes cigarettes on a regular basis. Listed below are the ways in which Hookah smoking is bad for you.
1. Hookah Smoking and Cancer
- Harmful chemicals produced by charcoal. The biggest risk factor associated with hookahs which make them even more lethal than the cigarettes is the charcoal that is used for the purpose of heating up the tobacco for making the hookah smoke. This charcoal adds harmful agents in the smoke going to the mouth of the smoker which include carbon monoxide, tar and an array of chemicals that can cause cancer.
- More toxins. What is most worrisome is that the levels of these agents get magnified with the passage of time so the more smoke a hookah smoker inhales the more of these harmful agents he introduces in his body. Those toxins include heavy metal, carbon monoxide, and others.
- Cause different types of cancers. The tobacco used in hookahs is different from the one used in cigarettes but it is not good for your health by any stretch of the imagination. It too contains toxic compounds in it that can result in oral, lung and bladder cancer.
- Longer duration means more harm. The smoke emitting from a hookah or any other tobacco product can cause oral cancers because of the irritation that it causes in the mouth and the wind pipe. In the case of the cigarette or the cigar, this threat is a bit curtailed since the frequency of smoking is not that continuous and the inhalation of the smoke is for a short period of time only. However, when it comes to hookah smoking, the chances of oral cancer increase drastically because of the higher frequency of smoking and the longer duration for which it lasts.
2. Other Health Effects
- Cardiovascular threats. In addition to cancer, there are many other health problems that can be caused by smoking a hookah. Heart diseases are among the health concerns that have been found in regular hookah smokers. Studies have shown that both the tobacco used in the hookah and the smoke it generates is full of tar which can block the arteries and hamper the flow of blood to and from the heart, making the smoker a prime candidate for a heart attack.
- Infectious diseases. Hookah smokers that share a single hookah are at risk of passing on the infectious diseases they suffer from to one another since they would use the same mouth piece to inhale the smoke.
- Risks for newborn child. Hookah smoking mothers are more likely to give birth to underweight children than women who have no history of smoking. Moreover, these underweight children are also in danger of developing lung disorders early on in their lives as well.
3. Hookah Smoking and Secondhand Smoke
Smoking from a hookah is not only harmful for the smoker who is using the hookah, but is also damaging for the nonsmoker who is inhaling the secondhand smoke coming from the device. Since the smoke of a hookah contains harmful chemicals in it coming from both the tobacco and the charcoal being used for heating the tobacco, therefore, even the secondhand smoke of the hookah is just as deadly.
4. More Harms to Be Detected
Studies are underway to determine other possible health hazards of hookah smoking and it is believed that more harmful effects of smoking a hookah would soon be discovered.
Watch a video for dangers of Hookah smoking:
If you are interested in finding out more about the dangers that are posed by smoking a hookah then click the link below and watch this video. You will find it very helpful in understanding why hookah smoking is not in your best interest.