Category Archives: Quit Shisha

Shocking Facts about Shisha Smoking

Shisha smoking which has been a favorite pass time activity mostly in the Middle East and South East Asia for countless decades has now started becoming popular in the UK, the USA and everywhere else on the globe for that matter. It is perfectly normal and in order to find hordes of men sited in a circle on the evenings inhaling scented tobacco and deeply involved in stimulating discussions in most parts of the world.

The humble origins which are surrounded by mystery and controversy seem to date back to the mid 1500’s when the Indians who had recently been introduced to the culture of smoking by their British colonialists first came across this “new fad”.

However, the Indians especially those in the nobility classes were a bit skeptic and apprehensive at first to using this substance that claimed to posses the charming ability and magic that soothed and calmed the mind-body and spirit. It was not until a physician came up with a new concept to inhale smoke, which was viewed to be pure and cooler. His ingenious proposal to safeguard them from the after-math of smoking was to pass the smoke flavored with fruits and molasses through water to cool it and also give it a smooth-richer taste. As smoking became more prevalent the crude device the physician had come up with continued to be enhanced and improved. It has now come to be known as a Hookah. The tobacco is flavored with fruits and so many more other ingredients in the cafes’ and restaurants that have been sprouting up around every corner in the big cities.

Contrary to the popular belief, Shisha smoke is a potent health hazard in the same bracket as cigarettes. Many out there especially the youths have been lured in by a false, fictitious belief that subscribes to the school of thought that since this smoke passes through the water to cool it and is mostly free from most of the carcinogens particles, which cause all the health related complications in conventional smokers.

Now we are well aware of more than one research finding, which have demonstrated that Shisha smoking is even more dangerous than cigarettes. The experts have gone ahead and made their case by citing the extended periods of time the smokers spend per sitting, the uncouth and unhealthy tendencies to share the mouth piece exacerbates the risk of tuberculosis and other bacterial infections like Herpes. They also remind us that the other people who happen to be around the smokers are exposed to extremely high levels of second-hand smoke.

Therefore, it would be prudent to assume that a Shisha smoker inhales more smoke filled with nicotine and carcinogens that will open the way forward to a whole barrage of lifestyle associated conditions like diabetes, tuberculosis, high blood pressures and many forms of cancers than a Marlboro smoker will. This sentiments were echoed in an article published by the New York Times where the vice president of the American Lung Association explicitly disproved the misleading myths that point to Shisha being a better option as compared to cigarettes and goes ahead to add that the top priority for his association is to see to it that legislation against Shisha smoking is put into place as soon as possible.

Others like the independent researchers based at the Royal University of Saudi Arabia have come up with their own findings that point out that Shisha is actually 30% less concentrated than cigarette smoke.

Over the years, this issue has remained in the background obscured by the sincere efforts of the health awareness campaigns aimed at highlighting the stifling effects of cigarettes smoking. It still remains to be seen as to whether their efforts have yielded any substantive grounds in helping curb the menace of smoking but one thing is crystal clear to all: cigarette smoking is associated with poor health and pre-mature deaths not to mention the economic burden it piles on to the users and this are the reasons it has been banned in many places.

However, Shisha smoking remains under the radar, while in effect is just as dangerous if not more, than cigarettes. Upon this realization more and more health providers and lobbyists are pushing their relevant authorities harder to prompt them to wake up and do something before our kids in universities and our men on the street cafes and restaurant kill themselves slowly, unknowingly.

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Smoking Shisha

A hookah or shisha is a smoking equipment which uses mixes of flavored tobacco with different fruits, the most popular being apples, apricot bananas and berries. A survey conducted by British heart foundation (BHF) showed that around 27% of the kids aged 17 to 24 are in a shisha smoking habit. The ban imposed by the government of UK on smoking includes shisha. However, according to a survey carried out by the BHF there has been a 210% increase in the number of shisha lounges since the implementation of the ban in 2007. There is a common misconception among shisha smokers that as the tobacco passed through a water basin first, it is comparatively purged. This makes shisha smoking less harmful than smoking cigarettes. However, there has been a lot of controversy regarding this concept and the crux of the matter is “Shisha is bad for you so QUIT it!”

The department of health statistics on the BBC website shows that the breath of a nonsmoker has three parts of CO (carbon monoxide) per million parts of blood. A light smoker has 10-20 ppm of CO in his blood and a heavy smoker has 30 to 40 ppm. Studies show that shisha smokers have 40 to 70 ppm of CO in their blood. This means that 8-12% of their blood volume is affected essentially reducing its capability for carrying oxygen.

So the myth that smoking a shisha pipe is equivalent to, or according to some, more than smoking 100 cigarettes is actually not a myth at all. In fact research carried out by the world health organization WHO proves that smoking shisha for an hour is equal to smoking 100-200 cigarettes at a time, depending on each individual’s inhalation capability. The above research can also be used to help explain the dizziness that is so often felt by people after ling shisha sessions.

Richard D. Hurt, M.D has the following facts to offer about shisha; the smoke from a shisha contains a large concentration of compounds which are highly toxic, namely, carbon monoxide, tar, and heavy metals. It can cause oral and pulmonary (lung) cancer. It can cause heart diseases. It can be addictive because of the presence of nicotine. When done by pregnant women it can lead to babies being born under weight. Because shisha lounges and bars may not be too keen on making sure that their shisha pipes are clean, smoking shisha can lead to the spread of contagious diseases.

A lot of people who smoke shisha have never touched a cigarette in their life. Some even believe that smoking shisha is not “smoking” at all. A vast majority believes that since the smoke is filtered, it is not harmful or less harmful, to say the least, than regular cigarette smoke. What they do not realize is that all the toxic material contained in the hookah smoke is water insoluble. So a water bath doesn’t really make much of a difference. Smoking shisha or hookah is fast becoming a social norm in the UK, the need of time is to carry out further research and create awareness through all kinds of media, especially in schools and colleges to educate people of the ill effects of smoking shisha which is taken up as a casual thing, and then becomes an addiction.

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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 Continue reading