Yup. Hookah is dangerous folks.
I recently noticed on one of my social networking sites someone mention one hookah session is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes. Initially I wanted to roll my eyes. 40 cigarettes?! It is no secret that hookah and I have shared some great memories…
I began occasionally smoking hookah in Ohio. It was something done rarely that I always got a major kick out of. Since moving, it’s something I’ve done quite often, mainly because the culture encourages it. Many restaurants, lounges and clubs offer hookah and it has become one of the trendiest things to do. Add to that the fact that the smoke tastes good and it mellows out your mood, it helps set the tone for a pretty nice evening. By smoking hookah, it cuts my liquor intake in half so I’ve been known to hog a hookah hose a time or two 😉 Several of my friends join me and it becomes a communal, bonding thing. The only negative feedback I’ve ever heard regarding hookah has been from my significant other, AP. He has NEVER smoked ANYTHING a day in his life. Because he has a strong health/science background he’s always been convinced that anything with smoke isn’t good (despite doing no research on hookah to back up his statements).
So like I was saying, while initially I wanted to roll my eyes, my sixth sense told me to look into it….could hookah really be THAT dangerous?
According to Richard Hurt of the Mayo Clinic, smoking a tobacco-based Hookah is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Each hookah session typically lasts more than 40 minutes, and consists of 50 to 200 inhalations that each range from 0.15 to 0.50 liters of smoke. In an hour-long smoking session of hookah, users consume about 100 to 200 times the smoke of a single cigarette; in a 45-minute smoking session a typical smoker would inhale 1.7 times the nicotineof a single cigarette. -Wikipedia
The charcoal used to heat tobacco in the hookah increases the health risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals. Even after it has passed through water, the smoke produced by a hookah contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and cancer-causing chemicals. Hookah tobacco and smoke contain numerous toxic substances known to cause lung, bladder, and oral cancers. –CDC Fact Sheet
Wikipedia managed to find a semi-bright side by listing a few other healthier tobacco options for the hookah.
Tobacco-free Hookah products, such as Pipe based on herbs, tea leaves and either sugar cane or sugar beets, have been developed so as to minimize the harm to the user from the nicotine, tar and other chemicals present in tobacco smoke. -Wikipedia
This all reminds me of the smoking epidemic of our grandparents/parents generation’s. While initially smoking cigarettes was something fun and trendy to do, research soon reflected how dangerous the practice actually was. I don’t want to look up in 10-15 years and see some of us suffering from various cancers of the tongue, throat or lungs. I also don’t want any of us breathing, talking and eating through a hole in our throats. From this day forward, I’m turning in my smoking card. I’ll be joining AP’s side of the alliance. Hopefully he’s reading this because I won’t be discussing any of this with him. I’m not trying to hear, “I stay two steps ahead. I told you so.”
To all my hookah smokers out there, we really thought we were out here smoking and it was safe! SMH!
If something is too good to be true folks, it probably is.