Hookah and How It Can Be Bad For Your Heath
Smoking and its variations have been around for centuries.
It’s an age old habit that refuses to just die down; in fact if anything else, it’s flourishing.
- Hookah History and Cultural Standing
- Hookah- how it became popular?
- What constitutes a Hookah Smoke?
- Toxins in Hookah
- Health risks of Hookah Smoking
- A Concluding Word
Hookah History and Cultural Standing
Looking Into the Age-old Habit
Cigarettes are considered as deadly. They even advertise it on the packet.
But does that affect the smoking population. The latest numbers are quite distressful. Smokers are increasing in numbers and are getting younger in age.
While some continue to inhale the harmful chemicals through the standard cigarette style, another tobacco smoking method is now being embraced by the masses.
And do you know it comes with an assortment of flavors?
Let’s first take a peek into the origins of Hookah or how it’s called in the Middle East- the sheesha.
The device and its purpose made through this process gained momentum and quickly it created a resounding culture.
It quickly caught the attention of Iran and the Irani people began smoking ‘Ajami’ through a hookah. Other places and cultures took notice and started adding their own variations of tobacco to smoke.
However it was the Ottomon Empire which played the biggest rule in making Hookah a part of popular culture and standing. They even promoted the habit by having portraits made with their hookahs.
People were now smoking them at royal dinners and it became a style statement.
Hookah- How it Became Popular?
Hookah smoking began many centuries ago. While it is not clear from where did the habit kick off, many historians belief it to have originated in India. There are different hookah accessories which can also be used.
But it didn’t just stay there; it quickly spread out to places in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Having gained further momentum in ancient Persia, the habit which was first associated to just the four walls of your home, quickly spread in social gatherings.
The reason why it has gained momentum among women as well as younger enthusiasts is because it comes in a huge variety of flavors. From apple, pineapple, lime to chocolate and licorice, Hookah is giving new meaning to looking good while puffing smoke.
A hookah is a water pipe that allows a person to smoke tobacco, often combining it with sweet flavors, such as apple, chocolate, coconut, licorice, or watermelon.Now,
Let’s dig into the most important question: are Hookahs harmful to the health?
Owing to its popularity and how Hookah smokers are actually getting younger and younger, many people have the misconception that hookah smoking isn’t dangerous or as dangerous as other kinds of smoking.
This is completely false and this post aims to highlight and talk about all the health risks associated with hookah.
What Constitutes a Hookah Smoke?
According to the American Lung Association, the following are the basic statistics about hookah smoking:
*There are about 82 toxic chemicals and carcinogens in a hookah smoke
*People have a misconception that since the smoke passes through water, most of the chemicals are diluted before reaching the mouth. That isn’t true.
*The water doesn’t dilute or eliminate the hazardous and addictive chemicals.
*A process called the combustion of charcoal is used to heat the tobacco smoke. This causes additional risks as the combustion produces dangerous substances like carbon monoxide.
*According to one study, 79.6% of current hookah users aged 12-17 say that they use hookah because they like socializing while using the product.
*Many of the Hookah bars and cafes in the world are considered as a social and fun place for young adults to hang out, even hosting musical events and gaining more popularity.
* With the launch of kid-friendly flavors such as orange cream, caramel, chocolate, children started from the age of 12 are also getting attracted to this nasty habit.
One study found that 15- to 23-year-olds who had never smoked cigarettes but had tried hookah were more likely to have started smoking cigarettes, become regular cigarette smokers, and smoke more cigarettes per day two years later.17
* The typical cigarette finishes within 10-12 puffs. However an hour-long hookah can consist of 100puffs at the very least.
*It has been determined that with your average hookah session, a smoker can very well attain 1.7times the nicotine exposure and more than nine times of carbon monoxide as compared to a single cigarette.
So now that you have a fair idea on what consists of a Hookah smoke, let’s look in detail at the various chemical substances in a Hookah smoke:
Toxins in Hookah
Now that we know that the toxicity of the smoke is unchanged when you smoke through a pipe, you would also be surprised to know that there are cancer-causing chemicals present in the hookah tobacco which do not get filtered. It is important to know of the chemicals in hookah for public health awareness.
The harmful toxins that you will find in a hookah smoke are:
Breaking the Hookah Myths
When you are smoking a hookah, despite the fruit flavorings, you are still taking in chemicals and nicotine. The flavors are just an added scent and they have nothing to do with the amount of toxins you are consuming within.
Did you know that tobacco is considered as culprit for almost 5million of the deaths around the world every year?
That statement itself should contradict any of the Hookah being the good guy persona out there. Hookah associates itself with tobacco and tobacco kills.
Even the proudly prompted and suggested ‘herbal’ hookah contains tobacco.
You might have even heard of the ‘tobacco-free’ hookahs, but they’re not as common and do not taste the same.
Also the myth how the water pope filters out harmful chemicals and substances is not true.
Health Risks of Hookah Smoking
So how and what ways does hookah smoking affect you. Read on to know why tobacco control is essential:
Lung Health Risk
A research time in the US compared the breathing health in hookah smokers, comparing them to nonsmokers. It was determined that youngsters who took up hookah smoking were facing several lung concerns as compared to those who didn’t smoke at all.
This included more coughing, sputum. They also had signs of inflammation and fluid buildup in the lungs.
Also hookahs give secondhand smoke- this is also extremely harmful to those who are sitting in close proximity to hookah smokers. Their health will also have drastic implications.
According to a study, a huge group of men and women were tested who would do hookah smoking in cafes in the UK. Researchers found that these hookah smokers were having higher levels of carbon monoxide in their body as compared to non-smokers.
Surprisingly, they were also having three times higher level of this substance than cigarette smokers.
Carbon monoxide comes from coal that’s used to burn the tobacco. It is a harmful substance that lowers your oxygen absorption in the body. This substance raises the risk of heart diseases and illnesses in your body.
Hookah smoking also leads to higher blood pressure. This can further escalate your chances of having heart diseases and even a stroke.
Prone to Infections
Hookah is one device that is shared by a large group of people. Sharing one hookah leads to the spread of various infections. Since this hookah isn’t cleaned from inside, it is also associated with various bacteria and viruses. This makes the device prone to spreading various kinds of infections, which can include:
*cold and flu
It has been determined in a study that hookah can also be associated to certain kinds of cancers. Did you know that there are more than 4000 chemicals in a tobacco smoke and almost 60 of these are known to contain cancer-causing chemicals?
Also if you have developed cancer symptoms due to another source, because of your hookah-smoking habits, your body’s ability to fight these cancer cells deteriorates.
Hookah smokers are also known to have lower levels of antioxidants and very low amount of vitamin C. These are important nutrients that also play role in the prevention of cancer cells in appearing in the body.
Some Other Risks Associated with Hookah Smoking:
*It leads to low birth weight of babies from mothers who do hookah smoking
*It causes higher blood sugar levels. This directs towards an increase in one’s diabetes risk
*There can be the swelling of your voice box
*Hookah smoke affects your body’s capability for blood clotting
*You have a higher risk of stained teeth
*This habit contributes towards gum diseases
*In severe cases there will also be a loss of taste and smell
A Concluding Word
Hookah consists of tobacco smoking and it is as hazardous to your health and life as traditional cigarette smoking.
From this post you have learned how tobacco smoke in a hookah consists of even more nicotine and toxins that normal cigarette smoking.
It has long-term and drastic impacts on your health and for you to have a happy and healthy life, avoiding all products that contain tobacco is the key.
Don’t wait around to quit this habit. Know that you can. There are various ways in which you can adapt a tobacco and hookah-free lifestyle