Play Hooky When Planning On Doing Hookah

A commonly used water pipe.

A commonly used water pipe.

By Andres Castro

We are always hearing the negative affects about cigarettes and yes they are totally a bad habit but now there is a growing trend with people doing hookah. Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke specially made flavored tobacco.

There are hookah lounges popping up everywhere in which people go to these bars drink, party, and smoke hookah. People probably do not realize that hookah is just as bad as or even worse than cigarettes. Hookah smokers probably believe since it is usually flavored that smoking hookah is less harmful.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, charcoal is used to heat up the tobacco used in hookahs and this charcoal can raise health  risks by creating high levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals. The tobacco used in hookah contains toxic chemicals that increase the chance of some cancers. Hookah smokers are at the same health risk for diseases as cigarette smokers, which include oral cancer, lung cancer, and cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function, and decreased fertility.

Smoking hookah is usually done in a group where each individual smokes from the same hookah using the same mouthpiece. Honestly, just that fact alone is skin crawling, to go to a bar where plenty of people have gone before and sit at this hookah and put this mouthpiece in your mouth and then pass it around the table with different individuals, even though they could be your friends, sounds unhygienic. Nobody knows where those other people’s mouths have been or whether not they could be sick or diseased.

It is no surprise that hookah use has become so popular among minors and college aged students. The use of hookahs by celebrities have popularized this negative behavior. Celebrities such as Drake, Kim Kardashian, Christina Milian, and Rihanna have all been photographed smoking hookah. Celebrities are truly the ones who have the say so to what’s popular and what’s not, and if the very impressionable youth see them doing something, most likely they are going to copy.

There are commercials on TV all the time showing smokers the negative affects of what smoking can do and how you can end up. Like having cancer, having to live with stoma, and what it can do to your teeth and skin. Watching these commercials, I believe it is geared toward cigarette smokers and maybe it should be geared to all types of smoking or maybe there should be a commercials speaking about the negative effects of smoking hookah.

Smoking hookah and smoking cigarettes both have negative effects on the body. Nicotine is the highly addictive drug found in tobacco products such as cigarettes and is found in the same tobacco that water pipes use.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, because of the way a hookah is used, hookah smokers may absorb more of the toxic substances that are also found in cigarette smoke. An hour-long hookah smoking session involves 200 puffs, while smoking an average cigarette involves 20 puffs. The amount of smoke inhaled during a typical hookah session is about 90,000 milliliters compared with 500–600 milliliters inhaled when smoking a cigarette.

These facts do make sense, when someone decides to smoke a cigarette, they go outside, smoke their cigarette, and when they are done, they continue doing what they were doing before. When it comes to smoking hookah, people usually sit around a hookah for long periods of time constantly taking puffs.

When it comes down to it smoking is something that should ultimately be avoided. Whether its cigarette smoking, smoking hookah, or any other types, the negative effects certainly outweigh the negative fun you maybe having while doing it. Smoking hookah can negatively affect you as much as cigarettes or even more. The next time you are out with friends and someone is trying to pass you that unhygienic mouthpiece, just say “no thank you,” and get up and get on the dance floor.

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