Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hookah: The Middle Eastern Killer

Yes, when most people smoke a cigarette too close to my breathing radius, I cough as if to say, "Get that nasty cigarette smoke out my face. OUT MY FACE!" But I'm always down to hit the hookah; not only does it smell and taste great, but it's a lot healthier than smoking a cigarette... Or is it? As posted on Jewschool.com:
“People who use these devices don’t realize that they could be inhaling what is believed to be the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes in one typical 30-60 minute session with a waterpipe, because such a large quantity of pure, shredded tobacco is used,” said Christopher Loffredo, Ph.D., Director of the Cancer Genetics and Epidemiology program at Georgetown University Medical Center.

…”People think the water absorbs the toxins, and that is true to some extent if the toxins are water soluble, but tar isn’t, and tar contains the carcinogens,” he said. “We believe that, compared to the typical cigarette smoker, waterpipe smokers are exposed to larger total amounts of nicotine, carbon monoxide and certain other toxins.”

And because the tobacco is burning at a lower temperature, it is more tolerable to inhale deeply, and in fact you need more force to pull air through the high resistance of the water pathway,” Loffredo said. “That means the tobacco smoke can be penetrating deeper in a person’s respiratory tract than cigarette smoke does. The damage could be even worse than seen in cigarette smokers….”
Full story here. Be careful out there.

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