Tag Archives: hookah

Is Hookah Smoking Less hazardous than Cigarettes

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 Smoking Not Safer than Cigarettes

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.

Little Cigars Gain Popularity in New Jersey

Over the past several years of New Jersey’ increased state and federal taxes a great number of smokers have turned to less-taxed smoking products.

New Jersey implemented a $2.70 tax per cigarette package, and the federal government has established a $1.01 excise tax two years ago.

Less-taxed smoking products such as roll-your-own cigarettes

Less-taxed smoking products such as roll-your-own cigarettes

“The six highest tobacco taxes in the country may discourage many smokers from this hazardous habit and others from starting lighting up,” said Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy.

New Jersey gathered about $742 million in cigarette taxes in 2010. That figure was a 4% decrease, $33.1 million less in comparison to 2008 data.

However the profit from other cigarette products as cigars, chewing tobacco, hookah tobacco and roll-your-own cigarettes increased by 26% in that time, producing $3.7 million more from lower tax rates.

The state has a stipulated wholesale tax on all tobacco products that is 30% of the price the retailer pays the manufacturer.

“If I had to purchase cigarettes for seven or eight dollars, I would think about quitting,” said Schubiger, 52, who bought a 10-pack of little cigars for $22. Had they been cigarettes, he would have paid nearly $75.

“Price is a significant thing; plus I like them very much,” he said.

New Jersey government proposed to tax little cigars the same as regular cigarettes.

“The additional tax will make the little cigars so attractive to present smokers looking for a cheaper alternative,” said Schubiger.

The Office of Legislative Services declared that the bill would raise tax revenue $6 million to approximately $9 million. According to statistics more than 5 million packages of little cigars were sold in 2010.

However increasing taxes will not make people stop smoking, the future increases may affect New Jersey businesses.

A tobacco store that is owned by Melchiondo sells cigars, hookah tobacco, cigarettes, little cigars and roll-your-own tobacco.

“Whether cigarettes are sold for $2 a pack or $8, people will continue to smoke, that will put some weight on the roll-your-own market if that is not taxed any more. The little cigar smokers may switch to roll-your-own,” he said.

Nearly 3.6 billion fewer cigarettes were produced from January to July than last year, as 2 % decrease, according to the data presented by the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau.

Little cigars are more profitable to sell than regular cigarettes, which unlike little cigars are available approximately everywhere.
Currently in New Jersey about 14% of adult people are smoking.

Hookah Smoking Concerns Doctors

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.

Hookah smoking

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.

College students still smoke

Ashton Jordan began puffing at the tender age of 14. He initially sneaked his first cigarettes from his uncle and smoked in front of friends to look cool, however at 16 he already became a chain-smoker.

Now being a sophomore at mechanical engineering at the University of North Carolina, Jordan admits he uses to smoke sometimes while being in smoking environment, although he gave up smoking regularly.

smoking ban

Despite being aware of all health complications related to smoking, Jordan still lights up form time to time. He also says that all smoking bans and policies violate smokers’ rights and freedoms, since it was their voluntary decision to start smoking and therefore people should quit only if they want to, without any external pressure.

Student Smoking statistics

As it was mentioned before, students keep lighting up, despite being aware about all tobacco-related health complications. “Smoking is an essential part of my life, it wakes me up, helps in relaxing after lessons and if my friends around me want to smoke, I’ll definitely join them,” admitted Janine Spenser, a junior communications major at UNC. According to a survey of 200 North Carolina University students, 30 percent of them confirmed that they light up at least one cigarette a month, if not more often.

American Lung Association’s North Carolina Department declared that 31 percent of North Carolina students smoke. These numbers are decreasing in comparison to previous years however they are higher than averages across the nation.

Results of American Lung Association report the number of college students who used to smoke dropped by a half: from 30.5 percent in 2000 to 19.2 percent in 2006, making it a lowest level since 1980.

Campus smoking bans

Another thing that impacted heavily on the drop of smoking in colleges is the strict bans on smoking on campuses.

This policy becomes even more widespread each day since many universities throughout the country are implementing smoke-free policies on campuses. In accordance with Tobacco-free Kids survey, 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina and 14 other colleges located in the State of North Carolina have imposed on-campus smoking bans.

The UNC student handbook underlines that their facilities including campuses have been declared smoke-free areas, and smoking is allowed at the distance of at least 30 feet from the facilities.

Students believe that on-campus smoking bans violate their right to smoke. “While being outside you can move away from smoke,” Abbey Thomas, a hospitality student stated. “However, they do not let us smoke indoors and now they want to prohibit smoking outdoors on college territory, so we have just one single question – where can we smoke now?” complained Thomas. “It is not right of the college principals to dictate us what to do and what not to do.” It will only encourage students to rebel and break the rules. Limiting smoking to specific places is the best solution to me,”

The price increase

The main issue for every current smoker is the continuous increase in the price of cigarettes. Those recent increases put smokers in a very difficult situation, since the cost of lighting up has flown to the moon, getting to larger-than-life $10 per pack in New York and Rhode Island.

The prices back in North Carolina would as well go even higher in case the Gov. Bev Purdue proposal of $1 state tax increase would be approved by State Government. The proposal comes on the heels of the 156-percent increase in the Federal Cigarette tax that came into force on April 1, making it jump from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack. And don’t forget about those increases that were implemented by cigarette manufacturers in anticipation of sales declines starting from April.

Therefore, unbearable prices have already scared many students away from buying cigarettes, or simply make them switch to less expensive brands settle. Abbey Thomas, for instance, smoked Pall Malls but switched to DTCs just because they are not so expensive.

Ashton Jordan said that students are more likely to give up smoking because of high prices than other issues. He admitted that financial damage hurts students more than future health complications. Students would certainly give up if prices continue to rise, simply because they could not afford cigarettes any more.

The growing hookah popularity

There is one trend that has seen a dramatic growth in popularity among student communities across the nation. This is the hookah use. A hookah, largely popular in Arabic world is a pipe filled with water at the bottom and a special sort of flavored tobacco at the top. As a user inhales via hookah’s hose, the tobacco burns from the heated coals and the smoke is passed down through the pipe, and delivered to the user.

The major advantage of hookah is the possibility to use it simultaneously by many people. It helps to create a unique feeling of community between users that is very important in case of students. Moreover, according to psychologists, many smokers name being part of a smoking environment as the main reason to start smoking too, and a hookah pipe is the best thing to create such an environment.