Shisha, also known as hookah, narghile or goza, is a new type of smoking stuff that is emerging among young people. It’s not difficult to see youngsters gathering at shisha cafe, sharing the pipe, thinking it is a safe way to entertain. However, the truth is that shisha is not less, but even more dangerous than cigarettes.

What is shisha?

To smoke shisha, people need a pipe, a hose, a bowl and a water pipe with a smoke chamber. They use a special type of tobacco, heat it up, let the smoke pass through the water and draw through a rubber hose. Then, they enjoy the smoke with the mouthpiece.

People misunderstand that shisha is safe because they believe water can filter lots of the toxic ingredients. However, it is not true.  Studies have proved that filtering tobacco smoke through cold water does not make it safer.

In addition, shisha smokers are at higher risks of having health problems than cigarette smokers since the tobacco smoke they inhale from smoking shisha is much more than that from cigarettes. The main reason is the longer smoking session, leading to a larger volume of tobacco smoke. To finish a session of shisha, one needs to smoke up to 60 minutes. According to a report of WHO, an hour of smoking shisha equals 100 cigarettes or more. It also notes that shisha may have combusted charcoal or wood in its ingredients. Those two items make the smoke more toxic, increasing the risks of cancer and heart disease.

Health risks posed by smoking shisha

Compared to cigarette smoke, shisha tobacco smoke can contain:

  • Carcinogenic tar: 36 times more
  • Carbon monoxide: 15 times more
  • Lead, nickel and arsenic: higher levels
  • Hydrogen cyanide and potent carcinogens: higher volume
  • Nicotine: higher content (this chemical is the culprit of an addictive effect)

Also, shisha is tobacco, thus, it has the same negative effects on human health as cigarettes do. Those effects include life-threatening diseases like cancers, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, etc. Smoking shisha increases the dangers posed by second-hand smoking as well. Pregnant women inhaling shisha smoke are more likely to give birth to lower weight babies.

What’s more? Chances are the shisha pipes are not cleaned properly which make smokers more prone to disease linked to hygiene like infections. Besides, sharing pipes between friends raises the risks of spreading diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, meningitis, etc.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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