Video credit: British Heart Foundation
One would have thought shisha has some things to offer beneficially. I actually thought of that. It is not the affordability that makes one want to have more of it, IT IS the addiction.
Lifestyle and trend change every other year. Shisha/hookah smoking has been here for quite a long time. And it’s quickly becoming a first-choice leisure activity for more and more people.
But a rare hookah/shisha smoker ever wonders about the true effects of the habit on their health. It’s strange, really. We all know of the harmful effects of cigarettes, but smoking shisha can be as damaging, addictive and dangerous as cigarettes, even more.
Findings revealed that habitual shisha smokers breathe in more poisonous gas than a typical cigarette smoker.
According to British Heart Foundation, the average shisha-smoking session last for an hour and in this time you can inhale the same amount of smokes from 100 cigarettes.
Here are some important secret facts on should be aware of about shisha.
1. It has same effects as cigarette: Smoking Shisha and breathing second hand smoke from waterpipes can be presumed to have similar effects as exposure to cigarette smoke. The belief of some that Shisha is harmless only leads to their own destruction. Shisha is as dangerous as cigarette smoking.
2. It contains more carbon monoxide: Shisha contains carbon monoxide (CO) in amounts equal to or greater than that from cigarettes. CO replaces oxygen on red blood cells, making it harder for the body to deliver oxygen to vital organs which can later lead to organ damage.
3. Has carcinogenic substances: Smoking Shisha contains significant amounts of nicotine, levels of costic compounds such as tar, carbon monoxide (car exhaust), heavy metals like cobalt, and lead; and a host of cancer causing chemicals.
4. Prone to addiction: Shisha smoking produces similar increased blood nicotine levels and heart rate as cigarette use. The inhaled substances trigger chemical reactions in nerve endings, this release dopamine; which is associated with the feeling of pleasure. This seems to play an important role in nicotine addiction. A Shisha smoker is still smoking tobacco and the nicotine in it causes dependence after using it for several times.
5. Increase risk of diseases: Unlike cigarettes, Shisha smoke may also contain charcoal or wood cinder combustion products from the heat source used to burn the tobacco, increasing the cancer-causing agents in the smoke. Apart from the harmful effect of the chemical, the end product produced by the charcoal only intensifies the damage it can cause to the body.
6. Damage different body organs: Shisha smoke is associated with increased risk of disease including cancer, heart disease, lung disease and many other deadly ailments. It might not be noticeable now but the harmful chemicals are already slowly damaging certain parts of the body of a Shisha user.
7. Delivers more smoke to the body: Of concern, smokers of water pipes may be exposed to even more smoke than cigarette smokers because water pipe smoking sessions last from 20-80 minutes during which a smoker may inhale as much smoke as that from 100 or more cigarettes. This only magnified and multiplied the effects of smoking Shisha.
8. It has sweet flavours: The most common form of tobacco smoked in a water pipe is called Maassel, which is sweetened and flavored in such flavors as apple, mint, cappuccino, etc.
9. It can spread infectious disease: Other health risk includes the spread of infectious diseases like tuberculosis, herpes, and hepatitis. Viral infections can be transmitted through the sharing of the same mouthpiece; a common custom in many cultures.
10. Smoking Shisha waterpipes and being exposed to second-hand smoke from water pipes are associated with a high degree of health risk, including cancer risk.
11. Low birth weight babies with pregnant women smoking Shisha: Shisha smoking among pregnant mothers is risky to the baby as well, since the child may face underweight problems and difficulty in breathing. Babies born to women who smoked one or more water pipes a day during pregnancy have lower birth weights (were at least 3½ ounces less) than babies born to non-smokers and are at an increased risk for respiratory diseases.