Part 1 of my series on Dangerous Trends That Will Kill Our Kids
is about the hookah.
What is a hookah?
A hookah is a single or multi-stemmed instrument used for vaporizing and smoking sweetened and flavored tobacco is called 'shisha.' Shisha comes in a plethora of flavors such as bubble gum, pink lemonade, licorice, mint and pretty much anything you can think of that is sweet. The hookah itself, is comprised of a head, body, hose, water bowl and mouth piece. This contraption is not for marijuana use as many believe, it's strictly for the use of shisha. Shisha is not marijuana and marijuana is not shisha.
A little bit of history.
It is believed that the use of water pipes originated in Persia and India many centuries ago. There is no documented use of water pipes prior to 1560, but other smoking methods may be been used. The hookah is very popular in the Middle East, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, turkey, India, Pakistan and Nepah. It is used for many cultural traditions as well as for recreation. In the United States, hookah smoking is growing in popularity at a significant rate.
Why is this fashionable?
|Better used in drawing class.|
You know what's coming next. I'm going to share the health risks of hookah use. I'm not sharing as someone who has never been to a hookah lounge. I have, and I went with my 18 year old son on his birthday. I smoked right there with him. I won't lie, we had a good time but was it worth it? Probably not. Let me tell you why.
|Looks like cat food to me.|
- Hookah use is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoke. According to a 2005 WHO report, in one hour-long session of smoking hookah, users consume 100 to 200 ties the volume of smoke as compared to cigarette use.
- The nicotine in hookah is at least as addictive as in cigarettes
- Tobacco is combusted
- Increased risk of oral cancers, lung cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function and decreased fertility
- The hookah pipe is usually shared by many individuals and is not sanitized after use, so the risk of contracting a communicable disease is high. Diseases that could be passed via the hookah include herpes, colds and flu, tuberclosis, hepatitis, etc.
- The charcoal used to heat the shisha produced high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and cancer-causing chemicals.
- For women who use hookah regularly throughout their pregnancies, their babies are at risk of low birth weight.
- Tobacco use is the single most PREVENTABLE cause of death in the United States. Close to half a million people die from tobacco-related diseases each year in the US, with millions worldwide.
For more information about the health risks of hookah smoking, please see the resources listed below: