Early this year, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine ran a report about shisha smoking, otherwise known as hookah smoking, being advertised on the Internet. Over a hundred websites originating from the U.S. were found to have been promoting establishments that offer shisha tobacco smoking – of the websites, none required age verification.
Although government warnings have been echoed on the dangers of shisha smoking, some people don’t seem to quite understand the health risks associated with this type of smoking. In the recent years, there has been an increase in the number of establishments offering shisha smoking, thereby, resulting to a growing shisha users.
Unknown to many, shisha carries the risk of addiction. Normally practiced in groups, shisha burns specially made tobacco that is available in a variety of flavors, including apple, mint, cherry, chocolate, and cappuccino. According to a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shisha delivers the addictive drug nicotine and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke. The mode of smoking, including frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation, and length of the smoking session enables the shisha smoker to absorb higher concentrations of the toxins found in cigarette smoke.
Just like traditional cigarette smokers, shisha smokers are also at risk of the same kinds of diseases, such as oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function, and decreased fertility. Similarly, the act of sharing a shisha exposes the user to infectious diseases, not to mention the potential health hazard it can cause to nonsmokers through secondhand smoke.