hookah really does suckLast March I published an blog piece describing the negative effects of hookah – hukah – water-pipes. Recently the NY Times ran a small piece on Hookah as well. As my Facebook Inbox fills with event invites to Hookah Parties in the Sukkah [there are 446 hookah events listed right now] I feel obliged to bring up the issue, and warn the public about the dangers of the Hookah. The NY Times points out:

The problem is that people who use hookahs typically inhale far more smoke than cigarette smokers, exposing them to potentially higher levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide and other chemicals. Most studies show that small water pipes produce the highest levels of carbon monoxide, followed by cigarettes and then large water pipes.

An international array of doctors worked on the WHO study that has really raised the red flag on the dangers of water pipes to our human pipes.

Hookah smoking exposes you to many more harmful chemicals than even cigarettes, and a typical one-hour session on the hookah is like smoking 100-200 cigarettes, instead you could be looking into vape hardware such as voopoo and quit cigarettes and hookah completely, while slowly weening yourself off of the vape liquid (as you can decrease nicotine levels easily).

The pro-hookah camp doesn’t like the study much… The Journal of Negative Effects in Biomedicine [there is such a thing???] apparently published an article critical of the WHO study. The OBSERVATORY on HOOKAH and HEALTH :Hazards Dangers Cancer Tar Narghile Shisha Waterpipeâ„¢ is an absolutely wacky site is full of pro-hookah stuff. They also think the WHO study is a shame. Apparently its GOOD for you. Right.

• A study in the Journal of Periodontology found that water pipes smokers were five times more likely than non-smokers to show signs of gum disease. According to an author of the study:

“Research from this study shows that the relative risk for periodontal disease increased by 5-fold in water pipe and 3.8-fold in cigarette smokers compared to non-smokers,” said Kenneth A. Krebs, DMD and AAP president. “Even though the smoke is filtered out by water, inhalation of toxic substances is similar to or even greater than that of cigarette smoking.”

• In a June 2004 study, Jane Henley, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, found that men who smoked water pipes had five times the risk of lung cancer as non-smokers. Needeless to say, the advise against smoking the water pipe.

And Israel has now required labeling of nargilah tobacco like for regular cigarettes.

You can read the entire report here in PDF form.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah

9 Comments

  • There is an alternative: to comply with tobacco bans within some major US cities, a tobaccoless shisha has been developed: Soex. It’s not too expensive and is much better for you!

  • Muffti seems hazily to recall a girl back in his Montreal days who would fill her hookah up with some green, non-tobacco substance that made one feel like he was in contact with the divine. Who the hell would smoke crappy flavoured tobacco instead of whatever that stuff was?!?

  • I can answer Muffti’s question: anybody who’d prefer a wide variety of various cancers over a drastically increased risk of falling ill with schizophrenia, paranoia, manic depressions, possible damages to the sensorimotor cortex plus a wide variety of various cancers 😉

    Did I mention my bf quit smoking because I stated I’d never kiss him if he kept smoking?

  • ah, right. Gotcha. those people.

    That’s quite an ultimatum you gave your bf. Muffti would expect to sacrifice somethign you very much like someday for him…

  • I admit it. I am a hookah smoker. I do not smoke cigarettes and the only cigar I have smoked in the past 3 years has been with my Rabbi last week.

    I think it is unfair to compare recreational hookah smokers to cigarette smokers. The experience is drastically different, and the frequency is also very very different.

    A Hookah smoker does not lite up in the car and clambake – the coal just wouldn’t cooperate. A Hookah smoker doesn’t smoke alone – at least not ones that are sane.

    In an hour session, you’ll likely split the bowl amongst more than one smoker.

    So if my two to four hours of smoking in a year puts me at that high of a risk for whatever, than oh well.

  • Hookah smoking exposes you to many more harmful chemicals than even cigarettes, and a typical one-hour session on the hookah is like smoking 100-200 cigarettes.some major US cities, a tobaccoless shisha has been developed: Soex. It’s not too expensive and is much better for you!

    Thanking you….

  • The hookah is very popular in adult younger’s. Some people feel that smoking hookah is safer than smoking a cigarette because smoker think that the tobacco is filtered in a hookah. But, hookah is also dangerous for your health.

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