Can shisha kill?

It may sound over the top to ask whether shisha smoking can kill you, but in fact the danger is very real. There are many reasons why cigarette smokers try to avoid the fact that that type of smoking is dangerous, and similarly, a lot of shisha smokers also try to evade the issue. However, if you look at it with a clear head and open eyes, you will soon realize that shisha smoking is by no means a safe option. In fact, in some ways, it can even be more dangerous than cigarettes.

One of the major reasons that shisha smoking carries a high risk is the length of time for which smokers indulge in it. While a conventional cigarette takes only a few minutes to burn away, it is common for those using shisha water pipes to keep going for anything up to a full hour. If you smoke for that long, you will be taking in a very high level of a number of dangerous chemicals and other unpleasant substances.

In fact, even comparing on a like for like basis, shisha smoking is in some ways more harmful than cigarette smoking. The charcoal that burns above the tobacco adds to the level of carbon monoxide, a very poisonous gas, the intake of which carries severe health implications. It also raises the amount of heavy metals – again, damaging to your health – that are taken into the body. On top of that, nicotine intake is higher than for an equivalent amount of cigarette smoking.

It is a shocking, but true, indication of the dangers of shisha that a single lengthy session can be as bad for your health as smoking 60 cigarettes. That’s three packs – nobody would suggest that you could smoke that much without risking your health, and similarly, you cannot smoke shisha for that length of time without risking it, too. The social aspects of the shisha pipe do have a powerful attraction – but in its way, that is as much an addictive substance as the nicotine itself, and the addiction must be beaten if your health is to improve.

Given all this, it is hardly surprising that shisha smoking has been linked, by experts in disease, to a wide range of serious health conditions. Most of these are similar to the problems caused by cigarette smoking, such as lung and mouth cancer, together with heart disease. However, there are also certain illnesses which are particularly associated with shisha smoking – for example, the sharing of pipes on a social basis, something very common among shisha smokers means that the risk of hepatitis is greatly increased.

The blunt fact is that those who see shisha smoking as a safe alternative to cigarette smoking are mistaken. Actually, in many ways it carries just as high a risk of serious consequences for your health, and in some respects, the risks are even higher. Unfortunately, the answer to the question “Can shisha kill?” is a simple yes, and so quitting the habit as soon as you can will benefit your body very substantially.

Image by Flickr