Hookah is often promoted as being safer than cigarette smoking; however, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
What is Hookah?
- A hookah is a water pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco
- Heated with charcoal, the smoke passes through water in the hookah before inhaled from a mouthpiece
- Typically smoked in groups, the mouthpiece is passed from person-to-person
- A hookah session typically lasts about 1 hour
The facts about Hookah:
- Gram for gram, Hookah smoke contains more tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide than cigarette smoke
- Besides increasing your risk of cancer, the nicotine in Hookah smoke can cause yellow teeth, wrinkles, and erectile dysfunction
- Secondhand smoke from Hookah poses a risk for nonsmokers
- An hour of Hookah smoking delivers as much carbon monoxide to the user as a pack of cigarettes
- Sharing the hookah mouthpiece can spread many communicable diseases including hepatitis, tuberculosis and meningitis.
- Irritation caused by the mouthpiece may give hookah users an even higher risk of cancers in the mouth than cigarette smokers
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Hookah fact sheet
- World Health Organization: WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation