Do you hookah? This increasingly popular recreational activity among contemporary club goers – an exotic experience which offers participants a virtual night in Tunisia – may not be the paradise like proviso you thought. Hookah bars have been popping up from D.C. to Detroit with a quickness. But remember it’s not dope, it’s tobacco (depending on your perspective or preference), but the question we have to ask now is “Is smoking from a hookah really safe?”
For those unfamiliar, a hookah is a pipe that vaporizes flavored tobacco for the purpose of smoking it. Although smoking a hookah is often viewed as safe, it can have deadly consequences, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
First of all there is the obvious, STDs are transmitted orally, so with a number of known and unknow partners smoking from the same pipe, smoking a hookah is comparable to sharing a needle. You must know your partners intimately.
In addition, Hookah smokers are at risk for the same kinds of diseases that any smoker is subject to, including oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function and decreased fertility.
And in case you didn’t know a typical hour-long hookah smoking session involves inhaling 100–200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.
The charcoal used to heat tobacco in the hookah produces high levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.
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Hookah smoking contributes to low birth weight in infants, much like cigarette smoking puts preganant women and their precious cargo in jeopardy, leading to a slew of maladies for unborn children.
And finally there is that whole controversy about second hand smoke. You can’t contain the malicious effects of smoking on non-smokers in the vicinity of the hookah.
Now that you’re armed with the information that you may or may not have had or even wanted to know, proceed with caution and enjoy your virtual night in Tunisia.