Saturday January 25, 2020

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)

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Know About the Adverse Health Effects of Smoking Hookah

Smoking hookah may increase heart attack, stroke risk

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Tobacco smoke from hookah can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Pixabay

Researchers have found that tobacco smoke from a hookah caused blood to function abnormally and be more likely to clot and quickly form blood clots, which can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

The study, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, found that tobacco smoke caused blood clots to form within an average of about 11 seconds, compared to an average of five minutes for clotting without exposure to hookah smoke.

Exposure to the hookah smoke also caused other abnormalities related to the way the blood flows, the research added. Some studies have found that the smoke emitted from one hookah tobacco smoking episode contains significantly more harmful chemicals compared to a single cigarette.

Hookah
Hookah smoking, which is becoming more popular in Western countries, is perceived as less harmful than cigarettes. Pixabay

“Our findings provide new evidence that hookah smoking is as unhealthy – if not more so – than traditional cigarettes. “Smoking a hookah, cigarettes, e-cigarettes or other forms of tobacco all increase your risk for heart disease and stroke,” said study researcher Fadi Khasawneh from University of Texas in the US.

In this study, researchers exposed mice to smoke from a smoking hookah’s machine that mimicked real-life smoking habits.

The smoking machine used 12 grams of commercially available, flavoured tobacco that included tobacco, glycerin, molasses and natural flavour with nicotine and tar. Researchers then compared platelet activity among the exposed versus the unexposed mice.

The study simulated the type of nicotine exposure that occurs with smoking a hookah, which the researchers verified by measuring the levels of cotinine, the nicotine metabolite.

In May 2019, the American Heart Association published a Scientific Statement, “Water Pipe Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Risk,” to analyse available research on the health effects.

The statement noted that tobacco smoking results in inhaling significant levels of toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide and particulates from tobacco that can harm blood vessels, the heart and lungs, as well as creating a dependence on nicotine.

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This study provides additional evidence that, contrary to popular belief, smoking hookahs adversely affects cardiovascular health.

“Water pipe smoking, which is becoming more popular in Western countries, is perceived as less harmful than cigarettes, yet hookahs carry a toxic profile that is thought to be comparable or to even exceed that of traditional cigarettes,” Khasawneh added. (IANS)