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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Hookah hot coals. Credit: @voinakh / Freepik


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Hookah, often promoted as being safer than cigarette smoking, has no scientific evidence to support this claim.

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Woman exhaling smoke from a hookah. Credit: @freepik / Freepik

What is Hookah?

A hookah is a water pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco heated with charcoal, the smoke passes through water in the hookah before inhaled from a mouthpiece. Typically smoked in groups, the mouthpiece is passed from person-to-person. A hookah session typically lasts about 1 hour.

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The Facts About Hookah

  • Gram for gram, Hookah smoke contains more tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide than cigarette smoke
  • Besides increasing your risk of cancer, the nicotine in Hookah smoke can cause yellow teeth, wrinkles, and erectile dysfunction
  • Secondhand smoke from Hookah poses a risk for nonsmokers
  • An hour of Hookah smoking delivers as much carbon monoxide to the user as a pack of cigarettes
  • Transmission of many communicable diseases includes hepatitis, tuberculosis and meningitis from the hookah mouthpiece
  • Irritation caused by the mouthpiece may give hookah users an even higher risk of cancers in the mouth than seen in cigarette smokers
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