The answer is simple yet categorical – No. Smoking water pipe has a lot of the similar carcinogenic toxins as in cigarettes and even a couple of further health hazards.
Shisha, or hookah, as well recognized as water pipe or hubble-bubble, is thought to have been designed half a century ago after Columbus introduced tobacco leaves back to India. The Indians were searching for a solution to smoke with no coarse burn of tobacco. In hookah pipes, coals heat up specialized wet tobacco generating smoke, which after that moves into a water vessel and then to a pipe where it is eventually} puffed. The water vessel cools down the smoke contributing to an easier inhaling.
Hookah tobaccos are generally flavored with the help of specific molasses, honey and fruit, or fruit extracts. It is widely-advertised as an enjoyable social way to spend some quality time with friends or relax after a difficult day at work. Adolescents and younger adults are the biggest fans of hookah smokers at present. Because of its growing popularity within this age group, various hookah bars and lounges are opening around university towns and downtowns.
Due to some specific factors, like absence of meals, social nature and even fruit-flavored smell, so different to that of tobacco, many localities exempt hookah bars from bans on smoking in public places.
Nevertheless, hookah smoking is still tobacco consumption and it still has almost all the toxins and chemical substances that typical cigarettes have. Scientists suggest that one session of smoking hookah, which lasts 30-40 minutes, is equivalent to puffing nearly 100 full-flavor cigarettes.
American Cancer Society reports that that like cigarette smoke, water pipe smoke:
- encompasses considerable quantities of carcinogens, including lead, chromium, arsenic and cobalt.
- Produces carbon monoxide in quantities identical to, or even higher than in cigarettes, resulting in heart diseases.
- Is addictive, which could result in taking up cigarettes or other tobacco products.
In addition, due to the social nature of hookah smokers, there are certain additional health hazards, including:
- Users of hookah might inhale much more tobacco smoke, than those who smoke cigarettes, since sessions of hookah smoking can last for up to an hour, during which users are exposed to inhaling the smoke generated by both hookah and other smokers, with whom they are sharing the pipe.
- Sharing one pipe may increase of getting such commonly-transmitted diseases as meningitis, tuberculosis, influenza, hepatitis, and many more.
Smoking hookah can not be considered safer than consuming other tobacco products including cigarettes, in spite of the sweet flavors, relaxing properties and social nature. As hookah provides identical addictive features as cigarettes, hookah smokers are several times more likely to start smoking cigarettes as well.