Are you hooked on hookah smoking? If you think that it’s better than cigarette smoking, think again. Experts say that the use of a hookah pipe, or also known as goza, shisha or narghile, is just as dangerous as cigarette smoking — some studies even suggest that it’s actually more perilous to your health!
What makes a lot of people think that hookah smoking is safe is the fact that the smoke passes through water. However, water, unlike a cigarette stick’s filter, does not remove poisonous substances in the smoke emitted by heated tobacco. Due to this, experts say that the use of a hookah exposes a person to much higher amounts of tar and nicotine.
The use of charcoal in heating tobacco only makes matters worst because high levels of carbon monoxide and various carcinogenic chemicals are emitted. A study revealed that a hookah user is more exposed to carbon monoxide than a cigarette smoker — a hookah pipe gives off 8.3 times the carbon monoxide a cigarette stick produces!
A cigarette stick usually lasts for about 5 minutes. On the other hand, the use of a hookah can last anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes. Because a single hookah session lasts longer than smoking a cigarette stick, it’s obvious that an individual who is using a hookah pipe inhales a staggering amount of smoke — up to 50 liters of it!
Even if you don’t particularly use a hookah pipe but you love to hang out with friends who are into the habit, your health is still in peril. Just like with cigarette smoking, there’s also second hand smoke that is a part of the whole picture. And don’t forget that it’s not just tobacco smoke that you are exposed to, but also the fumes emitted by charcoal.
Below you will find some of the most notable effects of hookah smoking to one’s health:
- Cancer. Because of the various carcinogenic substances emitted by a hookah pipe, you may end up with the likes of lung, bladder, stomach, esophageal and oral cancer. Further, tobacco juices produced can irritate the mouth as well as considerably increase your chances of having cancer of the mouth.
- Oral problems. Just like cigarette smoking, using a hookah pipe can leave your lips darkened and your teeth discolored. What’s more, you may be at risk of having gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums. If not treated, it may progress to what’s known as periodontitis, a serious disease that can lead to tooth loss.
- Heart issues. It’s no secret that smoking is a habit that can wreak havoc to the heart, and the same can be said for hookah use. Toxic substances in the smoke given off by a hookah pipe can damage the arteries, which considerably increases one’s risk of having high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Infections. There is always a possibility that hookah pipes available at hookah bars are not properly cleaned, and this can cause disease-causing microbes to spread from person to person. One of the many infectious diseases that you may end up with when you use an unsanitized hookah pipe is tuberculosis.
- Decreased fertility. Men and women who are into hookah smoking are said to be at risk of fertility issues. Similarly, hookah smoking is said to increase a male’s likelihood of having sexual impotence or erectile dysfunction because of the nasty effects of tobacco smoke to the circulation.
- Low birth weight. A pregnant woman who uses a hookah pipe or is exposed to the smoke it gives off is not the only one in danger, but also the baby inside her womb. According to experts, the babies of pregnant women who smoke during pregnancy may have low birth weights as well as respiratory problems.