Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hookah aka. Sheesha

Hookah or rather, Sheesha as we know it, isn't "safe" as you think it is. Hey! I care for you thats why I'm posting this.

A review published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that the concentration of cancer-causing and addictive substances in water-pipes may be equal to those found in cigarettes, with the heat involved being sufficient to generate carcinogenic nitrosamines, and the smoldering charcoal adding some carcinogenic hydrocarbons as well as heavy metals to the smoke. Similarly, a study in the November 2005 issue of the Journal of Periodontology found that the impact of water pipe smoking is equivalent in magnitude to that of cigarette smoking. Ironically, use of the hookah may increase the smoker's toxic exposure, in that studies have shown that the typical hookah smoker spends more time per smoking session than do other smokers, presumably because the smoke is less immediately harsh or irritating. Thomas Eissenberg, a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University co-authored a hookah study which found that a session of hookah smoking which lasts about 45 minutes, delivers 36 times more tar, 15 times more carbon monoxide and 70% more nicotine than a single cigarette. Generally, a cigarette will last no more than 5 minutes, which makes approximatively 9 cigarettes in order to compare to the 45 minutes hookah session. A study in the Journal of Periodontology found that hookah smokers were five times more likely than non-smokers to have signs of gum disease. This is of concern to doctors in North America, as 86% of colleges and universities have at least one hookah lounge within close proximity. A study of Egyptian couples found an association between water-pipe smoking and infertility. Other researchers have raised objections to the methods used in these studies, most notably those raised by researcher Kamal Chaouachi. Hookah advocates counter that existing studies have failed to take into account past tobacco or other drug use, and that it is unclear what ill-effects were directly related to hookah smoking, as opposed to other causes, including past cigarette smoking.

The quick-lighting charcoal used by many hookah smokers may be an additional hazard for hookah smokers, because it produces greater levels of carbon monoxide and other dangerous substances than standard charcoal.[citation needed] The quick-lighting charcoal is produced by mixing powdered charcoal with various chemicals such as potassium nitrate, that allow it to be quickly and easily ignited.

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