Is hookah harmful to health

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Meda Srikalpa
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Are Ehookahs Harmful or Not?

Technologists thought they had finally cracked the secret of healthy smoking when they introduced e-hookahs. But as smokers hold their pipes, they still naturally question whether their e-hookah (aka shisa) is harmful or not. To establish the health facts about this new piece of smoking paraphernalia, let’s understand more about what they actually are.

What is Ehookah

By definition, a hookah is a long flexible pipe containing a substance to be smoked (such as flavored tobacco). Smoke is inhaled through the pipe using water to cool it. The word “hookah” means electronic hookah. Just like e-cigars, hookahs feature the inhalation of nicotine-containing vapor and other added flavors. Some ehookahs come in the shape of pens and USB devices.

Mode of Operation

The vast availability of assorted ehookahs may beat one’s imagination. But for the most part, a battery-powered heating element is activated by sucking on the pipe. When the heater receives electrical energy, it heats the liquid cartridge and vaporizes its contents (nicotine, glycerol, and other flavors).

Some other ehookahs are powered by a bowl of burning charcoal that sits atop the flavored tobacco.  An aluminum foil then separates the charcoal from the real substance (tobacco). Heat produces smoke from the tobacco. Cooled by a water chamber, the smoke then travels through pipes sucked by the users.

The use of hookahs has been going on for centuries, not just in recent times. At home, clubs, and cafes, myriads of youthful smokers recline in their seats and have a full blast smoking ehookahs simultaneously.

Harmful Effects of Ehookahs

Smokers of ehookahs do it for their own good reasons, but that’s not to say that ehookahs are totally good for the body. Beneath the fragrance of ehookahs may lie scary health news. To go straight to the point, there are fears that smoking ehookahs are equally as dangerous as traditional cigarette smoking. The reason is that there are toxins (poisonous substances) in ehookahs. You can read more here.

It has been misconstrued that ehookahs remove toxins, including nicotine. But that’s not true at all — smoke cooled from water may exert less pressure on the lungs, but it doesn’t change the toxicity level of the smoke.

Harmful Substances in Ehookahs

Ehookahs may emit toxic chemicals in the same amounts as cigarettes. Here are some examples of toxins that can be present.

  •   Carbon monoxide
  •   Lead
  •   Nickel
  •   Tar
  •   Radioactive polonium
  •   Arsenic
  •   Cadmium

Health experts say that ehookah smokers may actually end up taking in more tobacco than their cigarette smoking counterparts; the reason being ehookah smokers consume higher volumes of smoke at one sitting.

Even though further research into the real dangers of ehookahs is still underway, the available evidence suggests that users may have the following health problems.

  •   There’s a risk of developing oral and lung cancers, cardiac disorders, and other bad conditions.
  •   In pregnant women, smoking ehookahs can result in miscarriages or underweight babies.
  •   Risk of contracting infections. If the same ehookah is used by many people, it may lead to the spread of infection when the items are not well cleaned.

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