Each hookah smoking session lasts 30 minutes or more. Burning charcoal is placed on top of a bowl filled with tobacco, which is connected to a water base and a hose attached to the mouthpiece. Tobacco often contains dried fruits, flavors and other substances, so it does not dry out.
Fans of this pastime inhale many liters of smoke filled with large amounts of particulate matter. In fact, a single hookah smoking session results in a greater exposure to carbon monoxide than smoking a single cigarette. In addition, hookah smoke includes chemicals that can harm the cardiovascular system (nicotine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrolein, lead, cadmium and arsenic).
But it is horrifying to understand that a hookah is smoked for hours. You can only imagine how many harmful substances enter the body! In this article, we will consider the health risks associated with smoking a hookah.
A report in the medical journal Circulation, published March 8 this year, reveals that people who smoke hookah can inhale more toxic chemicals than those who prefer cigarettes.
How does smoking a hookah affect the heart?
More evidence suggests that smoking hookah affects blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, regular smoking is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
A study conducted last year showed that the heart rate in people after 30 minutes of smoking a hookah increased by 16 beats per minute. Blood pressure has also risen.
Hookah smoking has the same health risks as cigarette smoking, but the hookah contains several toxic chemicals that are known to cause lung, bladder and oral cancer. Due to the use of the hookah, including the number of puffs for a longer period of time, smokers can even absorb more of these toxic chemicals than cigarette smokers.
The young generation chooses hookahs
About 4.8% of high school students and 13.6% of adults aged 18 to 24 admit that they like to smoke hookah. It is worth noting that among adults, hookah smoking is the fifth most commonly used tobacco product after cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
Many young people mistakenly believe that smoking a hookah is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, because tobacco is filtered through water, but there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that smoking a hookah is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products, such as cigarettes.
Hookah tobacco often has a candy or fruity aroma that young people like. Flavors and sweeteners added to hookah tobacco can hide the taste and smell of tobacco smoke, which makes the smoking process more enjoyable. All this leads to a wrong perception of smoking. But the harm from this is not reduced.
A significant role in all this is played by social networks. A study published earlier this year in the Health Education and Behavior section rated about 300 Instagram posts and found that hookah was positively represented in 99.6% of posts.
Let’s summarize. Hookah smoking rates among people between the ages of 18 and 24 are more than 50 percent higher than among adults between the ages of 25 and 44, and almost 200 percent higher than among adults between the ages of 45 and 64.
A new report in Circulation magazine reveals that people who smoke hookah can inhale more toxic chemicals than if they smoked a cigarette. So is it not better to give up this habit today, replacing it with something more useful?