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A common misconception seems to place hookahs as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, but a new study goes to show that using them in your home may be more dangerous than smoking.
The hookahs, which are also known as and called shisha, are a system of water pipes which heat water and permit their users to smoke flavored or sweetened tobacco.
Generally viewed as a safer, even possibly healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes and other related products, a new study analyzed and revealed the actual air polluting nature of the hookah.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established that during a hookah smoking session, the user may inhale the smoke equivalent of about 150 regular cigarettes.
The team of scientists to undertake the research was led by New York University’s School of Medicine Michael Weitzman and sought to analyze the effects of smoking in indoor environments.
In order to do so, the researchers gathered air samples from a number of 33 Dubai-based homes. Out of the 33, 11 featured hookah-only smokers, 12 had members that only smoked cigarettes, and 10 had no smoking members.
The results gathered from the air samples went to show that not only did the rooms in which the hookahs were utilized contain a higher degree of gas, the adjacent rooms also showed traces of the smoke.
The hookah rooms revealed high concentrations of carbon dioxide and also P.M. 2.5, a pollutant. As revealed by previous studies, the smoke generated by hookah smokers is composed of carbon monoxide, tar, and a variety of other toxins which can also be found in cigarettes.
Data gathered from the 33 homes showed that hookahs environments showed not only a higher level of pollutants than the other two insides, they also contained more carbon monoxide.
A comparison between the environments showed that the adjacent rooms to the hookah smoking area housed a more than double carbon monoxide value as compared to the cigarette and non-smoking houses in general.
This would point towards a higher probability of secondhand exposure to the toxic fumes emitted by the hookah and an increased chance of possible adverse effects.
A Virginia Commonwealth professor, Thomas Eissenberg, declared that the habit of hookah smoking has marked a rise both in the United States and at a worldwide level.
According to the same Eissenberg, although the mechanism of the hookahs passes the smoke through water, which accounts for its easier and cooler inhale, it still presents the same carcinogen elements attributed to cigarette smoke.
The current study, which was first published online at the end of last month, is the first of its kind to show the effects that hookah smoking has on the home environment.
As such, it is also the first to show the concerning negative effects it could have on all the members of the household, not just its smokers, and seeks to raise attention to the potential future health problems.
Image Source: Wikimedia