If you are not familiar with Hookah (pronounced "hoo-kuh"), you'd better take note. This trendy, Middle East inspired method of smoking flavored tobacco through a tube is on its way to becoming the next big North American puffing sensation since cigars.
Hookah bars are sprouting up in cities across the U.S. (18 yrs. and over), selling hookah pipes and tobacco is steadily becoming big internet business, and the Hookah culture/habit is pervading high school, college, and early twenty-something lifestyles.
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While hookah bars present smoking flavored tobacco through a water-bubbling tube and sharing it with a group of friends as a fun, hip, social activity, Hookah is EXTREMELY hazardous to one's health. Most youngsters smoking Hookah don't realize its harmful characteristics. Do you?
Multiple studies (including one from the World Health Organization) have recently demonstrated the following:
1. A 45 to 60 minute hookah session (average time) produces as much smoke as 10 packs or 200 cigarettes;
2. Hookah contains double the addictive nicotine content and carbon monoxide of cigarettes;
3. Participating in one 60-minute Hookah session is equivalent to inhaling an entire pack of cigarettes;
4. Alcohol and/or psychoactive drugs are often added to the tobacco for varying highs;
5. Large levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, chromium, and lead cause many of the same ill-effects as cigarette smoking such as emphysema, heart disease, bronchitis, oral/esophageal cancer, and lung cancer;
6. Since Hookahs are often smoked using a shared mouthpiece, communicable oral viruses are an additional health hazard.
The concept alone of smoking chemically soaked tobacco via a burning piece of charcoal is awful enough for me to leave it out of my lifestyle.
I guess I could hook a tube to my backyard barbecue grill if I really became curious.