Smoking shisha (also known as a ‘water pipe’ or ‘hookah’) is becoming increasingly popular but many people don’t really know the facts; the variety of flavourings available make this new trend seem fun – but smoking shisha for an average session of one hour, means you could be inhaling the same amount of smoke from more than 100 cigarettes!
According to Smokefree NHS, smoking shisha increases the risk of cancer in the same way that smoking a cigarette or chewing tobacco does.
The British Heart Foundation has some useful information about shisha, and below are some key facts.
- The water cools the smoke, but this only makes it less irritating, not less harmful than cigarettes.
- The flavourings and sweeteners only disguise the harmful ingredients in tobacco.
- Like cigarettes, shisha contains nicotine which is addictive.
- Sharing a waterpipe can spread bacteria and can make you ill.
- Herbal shisha usually still contains tobacco, and even if you use tobacco-free shisha, you are still at risk from the carbon monoxide and any toxins used in the coal or charcoal.