Hookah, which is also known as shisha, narghile, argileh, or hubble-bubble, is a type of water pipe that many people smoke with sweetened or flavored tobaccos.

There are several flavors to choose from, which can range from minty to fruity. It is fun to do with friends and can even have a relaxing effect. However, the main question here is whether or not hookah is bad.

A great number of people who stop smoking cigarettes turn to water pipe smoking. This is because they think they can escape the dangers of nicotine.

In fact, as many as 44% of shisha or hookah users think that this smoking activity is much safer than using cigarettes. But new research indicates that this isn’t true. The shocking truth is that hookah is actually worse than cigarettes.

Why Do People Think Hookah is Safer?

The false belief that bubbling tobacco smoke using water stemmed in the 15th century. During this time, a physician named Hakim Abu Faith believed that it would be much safer if tobacco smoke is filtered, so he created a small vessel for water, which allows smoke to pass through. Unfortunately, modern research discredited Hakim’s belief because filtering tobacco smoke doesn’t reduce its dangers.

Risks of Smoking Hookah

When you’re smoking hookah, you often inhale more smoke compared to those who smoke with cigarettes. This is because hookah sessions last to about an hour, which means that the smokers have already inhaled a large amount of smoke from the tobacco. Second-hand smoke is also a problem since sessions often involve many other people, including those who don’t really smoke. This can expose smokers and non-smokers alike to:

  • 36x more tar that can cause cancer than cigarettes
  • 15x more carbon monoxide
  • More arsenic, nickel, and lead
  • Potent carcinogens, including hydrogen cyanide
  • Nicotine which can cause addiction

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoke inhaled in a hookah session is almost the same as inhaling at least a hundred cigarettes. What’s even worse is that even after smoke is passed through water, it still has high levels of chemicals that can cause cancer. It is also possible that hookah smoke contains combusted wood or charcoal, which has the ability to increase the chemicals found in the smoke, therefore raising risks for cancer and heart disease.

There is a reason why health experts advise people to stop smoking, especially for the benefit of our health. Unfortunately for hookah fans, this advice also applies to their favorite smoking activity.

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