Contrary to popular belief, hookah is not safer than cigarettes, and there are some ways that it poses even greater medical risks
A recent study looked at hookah use in California, and the results were concerning. From 2005 to 2008, hookah use among adults in the state increased by 40 percent, with young men, ages 18-24, reporting hookah use twice as often as all adult men. Use was more common among people with some college education, non-Hispanic whites, young adults, and current and former cigarette smokers.
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While public indoor smoking is banned in California, hookah use is allowed in hookah lounges that are classified as retail tobacco shops. The researchers note that the American Lung Association suggests that the public cigarette ban may actually be helping to increase the popularity of the lounges because they provide a legal alternative for smoking socially with peers. It may also give the impression that hookah smoking is safe.
Contrary to popular belief, however, hookah use is not safer than cigarette smoking, and there are some ways that it poses even greater medical risks to users.
A hookah is a water pipe that has a smoke chamber through which the smoke from specially formulated tobacco is passed. It is then drawn into a rubber hose and into a mouthpiece from which it is inhaled. The dangerous contaminants, including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and carcinogens remain in the smoke, despite passing through the water.