Be Careful! Smoking hookah leads to cardiovascular diseases

Henrietta Strickland
March 10, 2019

"There is a general perception that maybe it's less harmful [but that] is not borne out by the scientific literature, which says that it is equivalent or even more harmful than tobacco smoking for the same duration of exposure", Bhatnagar said, adding that people who smoke hookahs are at risk of getting addicted and transitioning to use of other tobacco products. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema and coronary artery disease are serious complications of long-term use.

It is also because most of the tobacco marketed to hookah users does not carry a health warning, leading to the misperception that it is not harmful, the researchers said. "However, there is evidence to suggest that hookah smoking is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products such as cigarettes", Bhatnagar added.

Hookah use is also associated with an increased likelihood of smoking cigarettes.

Unlike cigarette tobacco, hookah tobacco, often colorfully packaged, can be sold in candy and fruit flavors, which appeal to younger audiences.

The trend of Hookah among young people rose with promotions on social media making it seem like a cool hobby to have, better than smoking a cigarette because that has been proven toxic and unhealthy.

The scientific statement is the first by the AHA to address the cardiovascular impact of water pipe tobacco smoking. Hookah tobacco is usually a combination of dried fruit, flavored tobacco and substances to keep the tobacco moist.

A person who smokes hookah for 30 minutes or longer will take in more toxic chemicals than smoking cigarettes for the same length of time, according to a study published Friday in Circulation.

Use of a water pipe-which goes by many names, including hookah, narghile, argileh, shisha, and goza-varies around the world, with the highest rates seen in parts of western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Hookah pipes deliver particulate matter with diameters ranging from 0.01 to 0.2 microns, with a median of 0.04 to 0.05 microns.

In addition to carbon monoxide, hookah smoke contains other potentially harmful chemicals that can affect the cardiovascular system, including nicotine, air pollutants, particulate matter, volatile organic chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrolein, lead, cadmium and arsenic.

In the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 4.8% of high-school students reported smoking tobacco using a hookah pipe during the past 30 days, with similar rates of use among boys and girls. In the United States, people between the ages of 18 and 24 made up over half of hookah users across the nation, according to data from 2013 to 2014 analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

There are few robust studies on methods to get people to quit smoking hookahs, but the authors say that certain approaches that have been shown to be effective for quitting cigarettes may be useful in this setting. In the United States, recent surveys have estimated hookah usage that range from 4. In addition, those who use a hookah are more likely to start smoking cigarettes than those who have never smoked a hookah.

"Hookah smoking is still tobacco smoking", said Dr. Mohammed Jawad, a research postgraduate at the Imperial College London.

"We are trying to advise physicians and healthcare workers to ask about hookah use", Bhatnagar said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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