Health Effects of Shisha Smoking
Shisha vs. cigarette smoking
Shisha smoking, also called hookah involves smoking through a water pipe. Where the tobacco mixture gets filtered through water before reaching the smoker. This practice dates back to several hundred years ago when it was found in parts of India, the Middle East, and Persia.
Most youngsters choose hookah over cigarettes with the belief that it is less harmful or addictive. However, research suggests that it can be as harmful as cigarette smoking. Tobacco taken in through a water pipe doesn’t make it any less harmful. As the water doesn’t filter out the toxic elements. The water is only used to cool the smoke, say experts. Despite the claims that many vendors make on how there is little nicotine in their products, Shisha smoking can be addictive. While the fruity scents make it come with a false sense of being safer than cigarette smoking. In fact, hookah smokers inhale in more tobacco than cigarette smokers.
Larger amounts of tobacco are inhaled in during a single session of shisha smoking as it typically lasts an hour or so. One shisha smoking session involves around 200 puffs, unlike cigarette smoking which involves 20 puffs. Researchers also say that the social interaction and relaxation involved with hookah smoking adds a psychological aspect to the addiction. Thus it can be concluded that shisha smoking is about as addictive and harmful as cigarette smoking.
Cigarette vs. cocaine
Researchers like Henningfield et al (1991) studied if nicotine was more addictive than cocaine. Results showed that both nicotine and cocaine are equally addictive and leave a similar mark on the brain after first use.
Studies have shown that shisha smoking and cigarette smoking are equally addictive and also that cigarette smoking and cocaine are also equally addictive. Thus it can be concluded that while shisha smoking is not more addictive than cocaine, they are both equally addictive.
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