Hookah Has 25 Times More Tar Than A Cigarette

0
50

We’ve long known that hookah is about as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes. In fact, the amount of smoke inhaled over an hour of hookah can be equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes, according to the World Health Organization.

If that doesn’t convince you to drop the shisha habit, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences have just announced an even scarier metric: One hookah smoking session delivers 25 times the tar of a single cigarette.

The researchers analyzed 17 studies that were relevant to hookah smoking and contained sufficient data to extract reliable estimates on toxicants inhaled. They found that one hookah session — based on an average of 45 to 60 minutes — delivers approximately 125 times the smoke, 25 times the tar, 2.5 times the nicotine and 10 times the carbon monoxide of smoking one cigarette.

Ethan Welty via Getty Images

“Our results show that hookah tobacco smoking poses real health concerns and that it should be monitored more closely than it is currently,” lead author Dr. Brian A. Primack said in a statement released Monday. “For example, hookah smoking was not included in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey System questionnaire, which assesses cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and many other forms of substance abuse.”

Tar is a poisonous byproduct of burning tobacco. Exposure can raise a person’s risk for lung cancer, emphysema and other lung diseases. Tar is also responsible for smokers’ stained hands and teeth.

The researchers acknowledged that comparing hookah and cigarette smoking is difficult because people smoke the two in very different ways. 

“We had to conduct the analysis this way — comparing a single hookah session to a single cigarette — because that’s the way the underlying studies tend to report findings,” Primack said.

The estimates they found can’t definitively point out which smoking habit is “worse,” but Primack said the findings do show that “hookah smokers are exposed to a lot more toxicants than they probably realize.”

Many young adults believe smoking hookah and cigarette alternatives is a less risky behavior than smoking cigarettes, but again, this isn’t true. In a previous study, researchers found that roughly 25 percent of young adults believe hookah is safer than cigarettes

Related on HuffPost:

5 Important Lessons From The Biggest E-Cigarette Study

5 Important Lessons From The Biggest E-Cigarette Study

1
of
5
Some youth have their first taste of nicotine via e-cigarettes.
Twenty percent of middle schoolers and 7.2 percent of high schooler e-cigarette users in the U.S. report never smoking cigarettes.
Gettystock
Some youth have their first taste of nicotine via e-cigarettes.
Twenty percent of middle schoolers and 7.2 percent of high schooler e-cigarette users in the U.S. report never smoking cigarettes.
Gettystock
image
Nicotine absorption varies too much between brands.
Early 2010 studies found that users got much lower levels of nicotine from e-cigarettes than from conventional cigarettes, but more recent studies show that experienced e-cigarette users can draw levels of nicotine from an e-cigarette that are similar to conventional cigarettes. Yet another study noted that the chosen e-cigarettes for the research malfunctioned for a third of participants. UCSF researchers say this indicates the need for stronger product standards and regulations.
Gettystock
image
Just because particulate matter from e-cigarettes isn’t well studied, doesn’t mean it’s safe.
To deliver nicotine, e-cigarettes create a spray of very fine particles that have yet to be studied in depth. “It is not clear whether the ultra-fine particles delivered by e-cigarettes have health effects and toxicity similar to the ambient fine particles generated by conventional cigarette smoke or secondhand smoke,” wrote the researchers. But we do know that fine particulate matter from cigarettes and from air pollution are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory disease. And some research has found that the size and spray of fine particulate matter from e-cigarettes is just as great or greater than conventional cigarettes.
Gettystock
image
Major tobacco companies have acquired or produced their own e-cigarette products.
They’re promoting the products as “harm reduction” for smokers, which allows them to protect their cigarette market while promoting a new product. Companies also using “grassroots” tactics to form seemingly independent smokers’ rights groups, just like they did for cigarettes in the 1980s.
Gettystock
image
So far, e-cigarette use is not associated with the successful quitting of conventional cigarettes.
One clinical trial found that e-cigarettes was no more effective than the nicotine patch at helping people quit, and both cessation methods “produced very modest quit rates without counseling.”
Gettystock
image

Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/