In recent times, there has been an increase in the smoking of shisha by smokers. Shisha smoking – also called also called hookah, narghile, waterpipe, or hubble bubble smoking – is a way of smoking tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through a bowl and hose or tube.
Many smokers believe that the smoking of shisha is safer than cigarette smoking but just like cigarettes, shisha contains cigarette tobacco so like cigarettes it contains nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. It is therefore a wrongful thinking to think shisha smokers don’t face the same health risks as cigarette smokers, such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and problems during pregnancy.
In one puff of shisha, you inhale the same amount of smoke as you’d get from smoking a whole cigarette. The average shisha-smoking session lasts an hour and research by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown that in this time you can inhale the same amount of smoke as from more than 100 cigarettes.
Furthermore, experts at the London-based Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre have found that one session of smoking shisha resulted in carbon monoxide levels spiking to at least four times more than the amount produced by one cigarette.
Just like cigarette smoking, shisha smoking is equally as addictive because the water used in the pipe can absorb nicotine. In reality, because only some of the nicotine is absorbed by the water, shisha smokers are still exposed to enough nicotine to cause an addiction.
So before you take that next puff on your shisha puff with the conviction that you are safer than the cigarette smoker, you may want to have a rethink!