Tuesday October 22, 2019

Toxins are Higher in Hookah than Cigarette Smoke: Study

Unlike cigarette tobacco, hookah tobacco, often colourfully packaged, is sold in candy and fruit flavours, which appeals to younger audiences

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tobacco prodcuts, excise duty
Hookah smoking is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products such as cigarettes. Pixabay

Do you believe smoking hookah is safer than smoking cigarettes? Think twice.

A single session of hookah can lead to greater exposure to carbon monoxide than smoking a single cigarette, and causes harm to the heart and blood vessels, say researchers including one of an Indian-origin.

The findings showed that during a hookah smoking session that typically lasts for 30 or more minutes, users inhale many litres of smoke filled with large quantities of particulate matter at higher concentrations.

Even short-term exposure to carbon monoxide in hookahs is toxic and can interfere with exercise capacity.

cigarette, hookah
Most of these toxins are higher in hookah than cigarette smoke, said the study published in the journal Circulation. Pixabay

Hookah smoke also contains other harmful chemicals including nicotine, air pollutants, volatile organic chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrolein, lead, cadmium and arsenic that can affect the cardiovascular system.

Most of these toxins are higher in hookah than cigarette smoke, said the study published in the journal Circulation.

“Many young people mistakenly believe that smoking tobacco from a hookah is less harmful than cigarette smoking because the tobacco if filtered through water, but there is no scientific evidence that supports that claim,” said Aruni Bhatnagar, Professor at the University of Louisville in the US.

Bhatnagar noted that hookah smoking is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products such as cigarettes.

Unlike cigarette tobacco, hookah tobacco, often colourfully packaged, is sold in candy and fruit flavours, which appeals to younger audiences.

hookah, smoke, cigarette
Even short-term exposure to carbon monoxide in hookahs is toxic and can interfere with exercise capacity. Pixabay

In addition, because many people smoke hookah in lounges and cafes it is perceived to be a social activity and less habit-forming.

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While several youth are aware of the risks associated with cigarette smoking and avoid it, there is a misperception among hookah users that this method of tobacco use is harmless.

It is also because most of the tobacco marketed to hookah users does not carry a health warning, leading to the misperception that it is not harmful, the researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

Old Newspapers, Empty Cigarette Packets can Fetch you a Ticket to Goa Jamboree

There will be power as long as people cycle and run

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The power required for some sections will be generated manually. Pixabay

Old newspapers, empty cigarette packets and ubiquitous packets of potato chips can fetch you a ticket to a jamboree, the ‘LalaLand Festival’ in Goa, which is aimed at promoting crossover art forms, sustainable innovations, new experiences and global trends.

The unique ‘Trash4Cash’ model can fetch a festival ticket worth Rs 499 in exchange for 15 old newspapers and 20 empty cigarette or chips packs, according to festival director Noreen van Holstein, a Dutch artist settled in Goa.

Speaking to IANS van Holstein said, the festival to be held on November 1-2 in North Goa, among other things includes a novel power generation mechanism for some sections of the event.

“The power required for some sections will be generated manually. There will be power as long as people cycle and run. That energy will be converted into electrical energy, which will power some parts of the event,” van Holstein said.

 Newspapers, Cigarette, Ticket
The unique ‘Trash4Cash’ model can fetch a festival ticket worth Rs 499 in exchange for 15 old newspapers and 20 empty cigarette or chips packs, according to festival director Noreen van Holstein, a Dutch artist settled in Goa. Pixabay

LaLaLand is billed as an affordable festival of magic and happiness, circus and madness, with 20 plus acts on three different stages. The performances include circus and acrobatics, fire dances, magic shows, dramatic performances, silent disco, alcohol and local, as well as global cuisine and music.

The festival can be accessed by a ‘payment in kind’, specifically trash.

“The idea is simple. Trash Value Ticket. With the collected trash one can buy a one-day festival ticket worth of Rs 499. All you need is to bring 15 old newspapers and 20 empty cigarette or chips packs (clean) to our collection points before the event to earn your tickets,” she said.

van Holstein was at the forefront of India’s first waste bar earlier this year, where patrons could exchange cigarette butts and other trash for beer. At that time, a lot of trash was collected, but there was no back-end plan to process them.

Also Read- Injustice to Gorkhas in India

The Lalaland Festival has scaled up its systems now to add value to the collected trash. The trash, she said, would be processed into articles of value, like lamps.

“Unless trash is leveraged with economic value, rather than purely a philanthropic or environment push, there may not be an grassroots movement for its efficient disposal,” van Holstein said.

According to her, garbage, in general, is an issue not just in Goa or India, but worldwide. The entire system needs to change. Waste either needs to be reduced or it should be altered from something non-valuable into an object of value. “Only when trash has an economic incentive, it will be disposed of in a more efficient manner,” she said.

A sustainable business model should be worked out, not just from an environment point of view, but one that was also economically viable, she said.

 Newspapers, Cigarette, Ticket
Speaking to IANS van Holstein said, the festival to be held on November 1-2 in North Goa, among other things includes a novel power generation mechanism for some sections of the event. Pixabay

Plastic chips packets for example, van Holstein said, had no value once used and thus they were one of the most common article of trash disposed in the open. “But we are turning the packets that we collect as part of Trash4Cash into lamps,” she said.

The festival has also listed ‘silent disco’ as one of its signature events, where attendees would feed into the disco beats through wireless headsets, thus eliminating noise pollution in the locality.

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“It just does not cut down on noise pollution, but also results in less consumption of electricity, which would otherwise be used to power the speakers,” van Holstein said. (IANS)