Contributed by- Dr. Snehal Singh
Hookah smoking has been a part of our culture. In the olden days and still in some communities smoking hookah is considered as a recreational activity and way of socializing. In the past few years, hookah has become the new fad.
Hookah is easily available nowadays which makes it easily accessible to all. The Hookah trend mostly attracts the younger crowd and is a huge health threat. A lot of delusional beliefs surround hookah which makes it really popular. Many consider it a safer alternative to smoking.
But is it really true?
Hookah is slowly engulfing a huge population especially youngsters in the smoke of deceit. The need of the hour is to unveil the truth behind the various hookah
5 Major Hookah Myths Busted
Myth 1– Smoking Hookah Is Same As Vaping
Fact – Vaping and hookah are entirely two different things. Both of them might seem similar in ways but work on different principles. Hookah is an intricate setup, where the tobacco is first heated, the tobacco smoke then passes through the cool water to reach the smoker via a pipe-like structure. It is usually shared in groups and is a trend in social gatherings, more commonly in youngsters. The market is swarming with all kinds of hookah flavours like mint, cherry, chocolate, liquorice, molasses, honey to give it a twist.
Whereas, vaping is smoking e-cigarettes, which are small, portable electronic device. E-cigs are for individual use that burns nicotine and chemicals at high temperatures to produce vapours. The vapours are inhaled by the user and is termed as vaping. All in all, all types of smoking exposes a person to some form of smoke and harmful chemicals.
Myth 2 – Smoking Hookah Is Safe
Fact – A lot of hookah users live under the deception that it is safe for them. Whereas, the truth is taht hookah smokers are exposed to same health risks as cigarette smokers.
The toxic chemicals and poisonous gases, increase the risk of several health problems like cough, respiratory problems, reduced lung function and decreased fertility. Smoke and toxic chemicals can also increase the risk of clogged arteries, heart issues and cancers of the oral cavity, lung, oesophagus, stomach and others.
Hookah is also considered as a way of social bonding and is shared in the group which increases the risk of infections like cold, flu, oral infections and oral herpes. Thus, it is only wiser to stay away from hookahs.
Myth 3 – Hookah Smoke Is Not As Dangerous As Cigarette Smoke
Fact – Hookah smoke is cooled over water before reaching the user. This does not make hookah smoke safer. This is a myth that encourages the unhealthy habit of hookah smoking among masses.
Hookah works on a pattern where the smoke is cooled before it reaches the smoker. But, the toxic chemicals in it is no less dangerous. The charcoal used for heating tobacco poses great health risks. It produces toxic substances and gases like carbon monoxide, metals and other carcinogenic chemicals. Even after the smoke passes through water, the toxic substances in it remain the same, which can increase the risk of cancers and heart problems just as much as cigarette smoking.
Myth 4- Herbal Or Flavour Hookahs Are Safer Abode For Smokers
Fact – The above statement is a huge lie. Although, it is believed that flavoured hookah use natural and herbal substances which makes them harmless. However, the harsh truth is that when the flavours are burnt, the final result is carbon monoxide and toxic gases.
Non-tobacco hookah is another fashion, encouraging the myth that hookah is healthy. While these are just claims, even if tobacco is not used, burning of flavours and chemicals can be equally harmful. At the end of everything, hookah smokers inhale smoke, which in itself is carcinogenic.
Myth5 – Smoking Hookah Does Not Involve Second-hand Smoking
Fact – A big misunderstanding that just makes hookah smoking so universally accepted as a safer alternative to cigarettes. Hookah smoking also releases second-hand smoke which greatly affects others. Hookah smoke has very fine particles which are harmful to those sitting around. Even incase of non-tobacco hookah, the toxic content in the released smoke is the same as tobacco products. Thus, hookah smoking affects second-hand smokers just like cigarettes.
Nevertheless, to sum it up in wise words; all forms of smoking is bad for health. Hence, the only best option to stay healthy and prevent several health risks is to completely quit smoking and avoid tobacco in every form.
Stop tobacco use today and embrace health.
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