A new study performed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that smoking hookah is at an alarming increase among college-age Americans.
In fact, 1 in 3 college students has smoked a hookah at some point. Hookah is a single or multi-stemmed smoking instrument used to heat flavored tobacco. In the United States, hookah has been around for decades; however, it only started gaining popularity in the recent years with the existence of hookah cafes and bars.
Due to the rising number of college students engaging in this type of smoking, ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP (ENTA) — the largest ear, nose, throat, allergy and audiology practice in the tri-state area — is calling out for increased public awareness about the effects of hookah smoking.
ENTA stresses the importance of quitting hookah smoking to decrease chances of future health problems, particularly oral cancer. As Michael Bergstein, M.D., FACS, of the ENTA office in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., explains “Young people need to be made aware of the negative impact of hookah smoking on their health, including the increased risk for developing oral cancer.”
ENTA also advises hookah smokers to regularly perform simple oral self-exams in order to detect early changes before they become harmful.
“A typical hookah session can last up to one hour, with smokers taking long, deep breaths, so that the smoke inhaled can equal 100 cigarettes or more, according to a 2005 study by the World Health Organization. Therefore, it is critical that hookah smokers stop immediately and practice preventive measures against oral cancer,” Bergstein adds.
Aside from oral cancer, individuals who smoke hookah are also at risk of developing lung cancer and heart diseases.