The Dangers of Hookah Smoking
Many people think that smoking shisha through a hookah or a waterpipe is a safer alternative to smoking. These people, unfortunately, are mistaken. If you think you’re safe from nicotine addiction and all its ugly effects because you’ve traded your cigarettes for a hookah, you’re in for a sad surprise. You were probably being played by hookah vendors who wanted to make a quick sale.
But we’re here to enlighten you. Your hookah and the shisha you’re smoking do more harm to your body than you think. Different types of shisha contain varying levels of nicotine, and some do have less nicotine per ounce than a regular cigarette. However, there’s one glaring difference between the way you use a hookah and the way you smoke a cigarette.
Figure it out yet? While it would take you a maximum of ten minutes to completely suck down your cigarette save for the filter, a hookah session lasts considerably longer. A hookah session usually lasts at least thirty minutes, with the longer ones running an hour or more. Shisha may contain less nicotine, but you’re using a hookah for a much longer period, so you end up getting a lot of nicotine anyway.
So even if you’re smoking shisha that contains a lower nicotine content compare to other cigarettes, you actually end up inhaling more nicotine just because you’re using the hookah and smoking shisha for longer periods of time. Hookah users even take bigger puffs most of the time, which means they take in more nicotine than they usually would when smoking a bigger cigarette.
In the hour it takes you to finish up your hookah session, you may have absorbed as much nicotine as there is in an entire pack of cigarettes. Of course, you’ll have inhaled a significantly higher amount of harmful chemicals, too. Imagine going through cigarettes one after the other until you’ve consumed an entire pack. The effects are practically the same with using a hookah for an hour-long session. You just don’t realize it because of the palatable flavors of shisha or perhaps because you’re enjoying the novelty of using a hookah.
As you might expect, consuming that much nicotine in such a short time is bound to have some negative effects on your body. The potential dangers depend on a number of factors, including the levels of nicotine in the shisha and the hookah user’s previous exposure to nicotine.
However, statistics comparing hookah use and cigarette use are disturbing on their own. On average, a hookah user takes as many as 200 puffs during an hour-long hookah session; this is a significantly higher amount compared to the 20 puffs involved in smoking a cigarette. A cigarette smoker inhales 500 to 600 milliliters of smoke in one cigarette, while a hookah user takes in as many as 90,000 milliliters of smoke in one hour of hookah use.
A study by the CDC also states some alarming findings about hookah use, primary of which is the belief that hookah use doesn’t cause as much harm as cigarette smoking does. But the truth is that hookah smoke and cigarette smoke contain many of the same toxins. Hookah smoke has also been linked with respiratory conditions such as lung cancer, along with periodontal disease and low birth weight. Of course, secondhand smoke from hookah use is just as harmful as secondhand smoke from tobacco products.
It’s important that the ugly truth about hookah use is publicized, as many adults are turning to the hookah as an alternative to tobacco smoking, thinking that hookah use is ‘healthier’ or ‘safer’. Now that you know better, it’s best for you to consider a safer method of getting your nicotine fix. Even better, it might be time for you to avoid going to those hookah bars and consider quitting smoking altogether.