A water pipe called a hookah is used to smoke tobacco.
Additionally, it goes by the names goza, hubble-bubble, shisha (or sheesha), and narghile.
The pipe is referred described as a “hookah,” not its contents.
In the Middle East, hookah was created hundreds of years ago.
The use of hookahs is now widespread around the world, including in Russia, Europe, and the United States.
Up to 17% of high school senior boys and 15% of high school senior girls in the US have used a hookah, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.
✅ Smoking a hookah doesn’t give you a high. It is addictive, though, and carries a number of significant hazards, much like cigarette smoking.
✅ Smoking a hookah is not less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
✅ Consult your healthcare practitioner about a smoking cessation program if you believe you may have a hookah addiction.
✅ Do not share mouthpieces when smoking hookah with others.
✅ Request a unique mouthpiece for every individual.
✅ This might aid in limiting the spread of infection.
According to the CDC, hookah smoking is more prevalent among college students, with between 22% and 40% of them have tried it. This could be a result of the fact that it’s usually a group activity performed in unique cafes, tea rooms, or lounges.
A rubber hose, pipe, bowl, and smoke chamber make up a hookah. Tobacco is burned over coals or charcoal, and flavors like apple, mint, licorice, or chocolate may be added to it. The idea that smoking a hookah is safer than smoking cigarettes is a prevalent one.
That is untrue. Although smoking a hookah won’t get you high, there are significant health dangers and a possibility of addiction.
Can you use a hookah to get high?
Marijuana and other narcotics are not intended for use with a hookah. Smoking a hookah won’t make you feel high. On the other hand, the tobacco in it can make you buzzy. You might feel calm, unsteady, or lightheaded.
Smoking a hookah might potentially give you the stomach flu. This is more likely to happen if you smoke excessively or while you’re hungry. Some people could get sick from the coals used to ignite a hookah. Other adverse effects from the coals can include mild headache pain.
Can you develop an addiction?
The tobacco used in hookahs is the same as that used in cigarettes. This implies that when you smoke a hookah, you’re inhaling lead and arsenic as well as nicotine, tar, and heavy metals. One hookah session lasts between 45 and 60 minutes, which is comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes.
When someone smokes or chews tobacco, nicotine is the substance that makes them get addicted. Nicotine is just as addictive as heroin and cocaine, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Nicotine is absorbed by the body when hookah smoking. It takes roughly 8 seconds to get to your brain. dependable source Your adrenal glands receive nicotine through the blood, which causes them to produce adrenaline, sometimes known as the “fight-or-flight hormone.”
Your respiration, blood pressure, and heart rate all increase in response to adrenaline. Additionally, it awakens you and decreases your appetite. Nicotine helps you feel good temporarily for this reason.
Nicotine can gradually confuse the brain, making quitting make you feel ill and uncomfortable. As a result, smoking cigarettes or using other nicotine-containing tobacco products might help you feel better. Addiction to nicotine is what this is.
Smoking a hookah is frequently done in social settings. According to a 2013 survey of 32 hookah smokers, they thought they were addicted to the “social aspect” of it. They didn’t think they had a nicotine addiction.
Does smoking hookah pose health hazards?
When you smoke a hookah, you breathe in compounds from the fruit flavorings as well as nicotine and other substances from the tobacco. Every year, about 5 million fatalities worldwide are attributed to tobacco usage.
Coal is burned when using a hookah. This emits more chemicals and fumes.
Even a “herbal” hookah could include tobacco in it. Although they are less prevalent, tobacco-free hookahs are available. You should be aware that even if you don’t smoke, you are still breathing in toxins from coal and other pollutants.
Before reaching the hose and mouthpiece in a hookah, the smoke goes through the water. The idea that water filters away hazardous compounds is a frequent misconception. That is untrue.
Effects on the Lungs
Researchers in New York City compared the health of hookah smokers’ respiratory systems to those of nonsmokers. They discovered that young persons who occasionally smoked from a hookah experienced many lung alterations, such as increased coughing and sputum production, as well as symptoms of lung inflammation and fluid buildup.
In other words, smoking a hookah occasionally can have negative health repercussions. Similar to cigarettes, hookahs emit dangerous secondhand smoke.
The same study that was previously discussed discovered that hookah smokers’ urine had some of the same compounds as cigarette smokers. Researchers discovered other dangerous compounds, including carbon monoxide. These substances most likely originate from the coal used to burn tobacco.
In a 2014 study, 49 men and 12 women were examined right after using hookahs in London cafes. Researchers discovered that carbon monoxide levels in hookah smokers were almost three times greater than those in cigarette smokers.
Your body’s ability to absorb oxygen may be reduced by carbon monoxide. This is because it has a 230 times stronger connection with your red blood cells than oxygen does. Overexposure to carbon monoxide is dangerous and may increase your chance of developing heart disease and other illnesses.
Additionally, the study participants’ blood pressure increased after smoking hookah, according to the researchers. An increase in average blood pressure from 129/81 to 144/90 mmHg was observed.
Chronic high blood pressure, which can potentially raise the risk of heart disease and stroke, may develop over time as a result of hookah smoking.
Dangers of infection
In a group of hookah smokers, one hookah is often shared. Infections can pass from person to person when smoked from the same mouthpiece. A hookah may also harbor certain bacteria or viruses if it isn’t properly cleaned.
Sharing a hookah might cause the transmission of the following diseases:
- Flu and cold
- Herpes simplex (HSV)
- Hepatitis A.
According to research, hookah smoking could cause several cancers. More than 69 of the more than 4,800 distinct compounds included in tobacco smoke are recognized carcinogens. Smoking a hookah may also impair your body’s capacity to fight certain cancers.
A study conducted in Saudi Arabia that showed hookah smokers had lower levels of antioxidants and vitamin C than nonsmokers is also highlighted in that 2013 review. These beneficial nutrients might aid in cancer prevention. The study also mentions other research that links smoking to mouth, throat, pancreas, bladder, and prostate cancers.
Other negative health implications of hookah use include:
- Low birth weight in children whose mothers smoked while they were pregnant
- elevated blood sugar levels, which can raise the risk of developing diabetes
- enlargement or harm to the larynx (voice box)
- modifications to blood clotting
- Discolored teeth
- Gum illness
- A loss of scent and flavor