The trend is growing in popularity, but smoking hookah is worse than cigarettes due to the bigger exposure to toxins, according to a new study. The debate has been difficult to settle, and it’s impossible to think that it ever will. There are two very different patterns in the two habits, which makes it difficult to ascertain their true effects.
Among the popularity of electronic cigarettes, other methods such as hookahs are gaining ground and winning over teenagers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that, for the first time in history, 2015 counted as the year when more teenagers indulged in hookahs than cigarettes. That sent up a red flag among organizations who started researching the phenomenon.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh reviewed a total of 542 scientific studies that were potentially relevant to the relationship between hookah and regular cigarettes. Among them, they deemed only 17 to be reliable, accurate, and offering proper estimations on the number of toxins inhaled. And there arrived the true complexity of their study.
The team of researchers admittedly noted that it’s difficult to draw a proper comparison between hookah and cigarette smoking. While a person can easily have between 1 to 20 regular smokes per day, hookah sessions can happen only a few times a day, at most. That is in the case of avid smokers, who probably indulge in the habit at home as well.
One hookah session cannot be firmly compared to smoking one cigarette. However, according to Brian Primack, who is the director of Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health at the university, they managed to get an overall statistic. And, when looking at the bigger picture, it appears that hookahs are much more detrimental to the population’s health.
As per their findings, it exposes the user to 125 more times smoke, 25 times tar, 2.5 times nicotine, and 10 times carbon monoxide. That was the overall estimation after the team of researchers overviewed relevant studies, but they note that it’s a difficult comparison to draw. For now. More research is certainly required, and more will likely come as hookahs become a bigger trend and continue to increase in popularity.
However, the main point of the study was to underline that hookah is not a safe alternative to smoking. It’s not the risk-free pastime. In fact, it exposes the user to more toxic substances than they realize. In the end, it may actually be worse than smoking cigarettes. And, as many study suggests, smoking is one of the habits that is not safe in any amount.
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