It is known that hookah was first used in India. Then hookah smoking became widely-spread in Arab countries and Europe, and currently it is becoming more and more popular in the United States, as exotic things are a major trend now.
Some people smoke hookah in specialized venues, named hookah lounges, others prefer puffing at home with friends. The majority believes that hookah smoking is harmless, however, in reality, it did affect health.
We asked Charles Mayflower, chairman of the Department of Public Health at the University of Rochester, his opinion over the issues related to hookah smoking.
“Hookah Smoking is harmful for health. Studies by the National Oncology Institute confirm the risks related to usage of water pipes, as well as many other similar studies performed by various scientists. In some cases hookah smoking can lead to malignant tumors development, and severe health complications in lungs, cardiovascular diseases and other diseases,” said Prof. Mayflower.
According to Prof. Mayflower, people have been misled by the allegation that smoke, which came through water filter, is harmless.
“However in reality this is not true. The thing is that, during hookah smoking, the tobacco smoke gets blended and is inhaled as a very harmful substance,” he added.
Public health organizations and officials who carried out studies in that field, confirmed the health damage resulted from smoking water pipe, when people inhale much more tobacco smoke than during cigarette smoking.
Speaking about the dangers of cigarette and hookah smoking and whether hookah is less harmful than cigarettes, Prof. Mayflower said that both products are very harmful, but they have different impact on human health. For example, when smoking a water pipe, such substances as carbon dioxide are produced and consequently affect human health. It can affect nervous system and lead to the health worsening.
Cigarette smoking, according to the data provided by National Institute of Oncology, can lead to lung cancer, respiratory system diseases, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and other severe health complications.
In addition, Professor Charles Mayflower mentioned that in case of regular hookah smoking, one can lose consciousness or can have a cardiac arrest.
“The fatal outcome is not excluded as well. Therefore, we should protect our health from the dangerous tobacco smoke, which has dramatic negative impact on the health,” said Prof. Mayflower.
In the meantime, Spanish Public Health Ministry declared its intention to ban hookah smoking across the country, three months after cigarette smoking was prohibited in all public places.
In a statement, the Health Ministry spokesman said they would seek corresponding regulations in to be added to the recently approved tobacco control legislation.
“We plan introducing the amendment to ban hookah smoking in public places, because the tobacco smoke emitted during hookah smoking is dangerous and affects public health,” said the spokesman.