I have heard people say before that smoke from a hookah is harmless and is nothing like smoke from a cigarette because it is “filtered by water.” When I first heard this information, I was not only skeptical, but I was not about to take anyone’s word for it without doing research first. Of course I had no intention on smoking from a hookah regardless, but I’m just the type of person that wants to understand these things (especially if my friends are taking part in something without understanding the dangers of it). I found out pretty much what I had suspected initially. Hookahs are not any better than smoking a cigarette, in fact they can be worse. This water filtration system that some people think takes out all the toxins in the tobacco, only filters out less than 5% of nicotine. But it still leaves tar and other cancer-causing chemicals intact. So if you have ever used a hookah or have thought about doing so, just know this first.
- A one hour hookah session produces 200 times more smoke than one cigarette and is said to be equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes.
- There is less nicotine in the smoke from a hookah compared to a cigarette, but since a typical hookah session lasts around 45 minutes, you end up taking in more nicotine (compared to 5 minutes smoking a cigarette).
- A hookah session emits 8x the amount of carbon monoxide and 36x the amount of tar than one cigarette.
- Since it contains nicotine, it has the potential to become addictive. (physically and mentally)
- Since it has all the bad toxins that cigarettes have, you can develop similar conditions that smokers can get including lung, oral and bladder cancer, clogged arteries, and heart disease.
- Even if you spend time in a hookah bar and DON’T smoke, you can still breathe in the harmful chemicals from the second hand smoke in the air.
I am in no way an expert and cannot prove that these statements are in fact accurate; I have just read different articles about the issue. But it should be common knowledge that smoking anything isn’t very healthy for you. I share this information so that anyone who believes hookahs are harmless will think twice. If you want to damage your lungs and smoke chemicals you have the right to do so, but don’t encourage others by giving them false information.
And if you take nothing else from this article, at least learn this: Don’t ever make decisions based on someone’s word (especially important decisions like your health) you should always take the time to research things before believing it and then spreading it around.
picture above: taken and edited by me
information sources: nytimes.com, cnn.com, thehookahlounge.org, mayoclinic.com
photo source: flikr.com