A global increase in the smoking of hookah pipes is happening…now more than ever before. Why? People everywhere believe that using a hookah pipe is a healthier way to smoke. But that’s just not true!
“Healthier Hookah” is simply a myth. Hookah usage is actually just as bad for you as cigarette or marijuana use, if not worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens).
In fact, hookahs are more harmful than cigarettes. According to the Mayo Clinic, hookah smokers may inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers because of the large volume of smoke that is inhaled in one smoking session, which can last as long as 60 minutes!
Hookah is known by many different names around the world. These include: shisha, hubble-bubble, goza, narghile and argileh. Before debunking the mystery that shrouds Hookah usage, let’s first define what Hookah is:
A hookah is a water pipe with a bowl, a hose, a pipe and a smoke chamber. Put together, this is used to smoke specially made tobacco that comes in a variety of flavors. Tobacco gets heated and then smoke is drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece. The water is unfiltered, so the toxic ingredients remain.
Hookah smoking is usually done in groups, passing around the same pipe. This practice originated in ancient Persia and India. Today, there are Hookah cafes all over the world.
Common Hookah Myths
Still not convinced? Here’s the full list of myths about hookah as a healthy alternative to cigarettes:
- Hookah usage is not addicting. False! Actually, it is considered a slippery slope to go down when first becoming acquainted with hookah use. The whole ritual of going to a Hookah bar or café, preparing the pipe for usage and smoking is a ritual similar to that of a marijuana addict.
- Hookah usage does not cause cancer. False! Hookah is linked to lung and oral cancers, heart disease and other illnesses.
- Hookah delivers less nicotine to the user. False! Hookah smoking delivers the same amount of nicotine as cigarette smoking, possibly leading to tobacco dependence.
- Hookah smoking is not harmful to pregnant women and their fetuses. False! Just like regular cigarette smoking, hookah smoking is extremely harmful to your pregnancy and can cause low birth weights in babies.
- Sharing hookah pipes is unclean. True! Just like sharing a puff of another’s cigarette or marijuana joint, germs stick around. Pipes used in hookah bars and cafes may not be cleaned up correctly, risking the spread of infectious diseases.
The effects of hookah pipe usage are still being determined. But with these facts already known, it is quite easy to see that smoking Hookah is definitely not less harmful than cigarette or marijuana usage. It can be addictive!
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