You may have seen this contraption in various specialty bars in Britain; people huddling around a water-pipe that has a compartment which burns tobacco in a particular flavour. When you suck the pipe the smoke travels through water held in a glass compartment, producing a bubbling sound as you go on smoking. The idea is to filter the smoke as it passes through water. In reality, the smoke does not lose a single bit of its lethal carbon monoxide, carcinogens and nicotine content and reaches straight to your lungs. The lethal mix is so dangerous that a single instance of smoking the shisha, as it is commonly known as, can give you the same effect as smoking 30-100 cigarettes.
The tobacco is placed in a container on top of the compartment carrying water. Since glycerine is predominantly used to sweeten the tobacco, it creates problems in burning. As such, charcoal is added to the tobacco to assist in the burning process. The cause of the deadly carbon monoxide is the charcoal which is sucked through the water and then straight into your lungs.
The impact of culture on shisha smoking
Shisha has been making a lot of bubbles these days as both teenagers and young people in their early twenties seem to be picking up a fancy for this stuff. Even professional club footballers are resorting to shisha for fun. While the teenagers are too adamant to understand the potential dangers of shisha the onus falls on the parents and immediate peer group to resist a potentially costly mistake.
A lot of teenagers from the west Asian communities tend to smoke shisha due to cultural influences. Shisha, also known as nargile in Turkey and Syria and hookah in India, is a cultural phenomenon. People often smoke it as a part of festivities. However, for those who are smoking it just for the kick, they are exposed to the lethal effects which it can and often delivers.
How does shisha affect health when the smoke is purified through water?
A lot of misconception seems to be flying around about shisha and the extent of damage it can cause. First thing is that water does not purify the content of the smoke. In fact if it does anything at all then it is to simply cool off the smoke to a degree. This actually causes more damage. You tend to inhale it deeper and the smoke spreads inside you faster. In fact a lot of people have experienced a slight to medium dizziness coming out of a shisha café acute. The symptoms are similar to carbon monoxide poisoning. How shisha affect health can be answered in a simple way. Try smelling the car exhaust for a couple of seconds and you will realise how dangerous the effects are. Shisha bar patrons leaving the premises have been tested randomly to check the level of carbon monoxide in their bodies. Compared to the statistics of a person who have smoked only cigarettes the person who have smoked shisha have been found to have up to three times the amount of carbon monoxide. Some shisha smokers have reported that it makes them feel high. This is a classic symptom of high level of carbon monoxide in the body.
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