Hookah smoking is not considered safer than cigarette smoking. Despite common misconceptions, hookah smoke is not filtered through water, and it contains many of the same harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and other toxic substances. In fact, hookah smoking can be just as harmful, if not more so, than cigarette smoking due to the prolonged duration of a typical hookah session, which can last for hours, leading to increased exposure to smoke and its harmful effects.
Some reasons why hookah is not considered safer than cigarettes include the following:
TOXIC CHEMICALS: Both hookah smoke and cigarette smoke contain harmful chemicals, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and other toxic substances. Hookah smoke is not filtered through water, as is often mistakenly believed, and still contains these harmful chemicals that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, leading to respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues, and other health risks.
DURATION OF SMOKING SESSIONS: Hookah smoking sessions can last for hours, with users inhaling more smoke over a longer period of time compared to cigarette smoking. This prolonged exposure can result in an increased intake of toxic substances, leading to potentially higher health risks.
NICOTINE ADDICTION: Hookah smoke contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. Nicotine addiction can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms, regardless of whether it is consumed through cigarettes or hookah.
RESPIRATORY HEALTH RISKS: Hookah smoking can have negative effects on respiratory health, similar to cigarette smoking. Inhaling hookah smoke can lead to respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, bronchitis, and even lung cancer. Contrary to popular belief, the water in the hookah does not effectively filter out these harmful substances.
CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH RISKS: Hookah smoking can raise heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems, similar to cigarette smoking.
HEALTH RISKS: Both hookah smoking and cigarette smoking are linked to various health risks, including respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and other health issues. There is no safe level of smoking, whether it’s hookah or cigarettes.
CANCER RISKS: Hookah smoking is associated with an increased risk of various types of cancer, including lung cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, and oesophageal cancer, similar to cigarette smoking.
SECONDHAND SMOKE: Just like cigarette smoke, hookah smoke can also pose a risk to the health of those exposed to it, including second-hand smoke. The charcoal used to heat the tobacco in a hookah can also produce harmful smoke, including carbon monoxide.
It’s important to note that both hookah smoking and cigarette smoking are harmful to health and are not safe alternatives to each other or to other forms of tobacco use. The best way to protect your health is to avoid smoking altogether, including hookah and cigarettes. If you are a smoker and want to quit, seeking support from a healthcare professional or a smoking cessation program can be beneficial. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalised medical advice.