Hookah: There is no such thing as ‘Safe Smoking’


Hookah: There is no such thing as ‘Safe Smoking’

When everyone among us is now aware of the ill effects of cigarette smoking, the new generation smokers have switched their preference to Hookah or Sheesha as it is known in the Middle East. Till date, the Hookah is linked with many myths in society from being a safe smoking device to that it contains 0.5 percent Nicotine, which makes it harmless to the human body.

 
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Article By Shubham Purohit Hookah: There is no such thing as ‘Safe Smoking’

When everyone among us is now aware of the ill effects of cigarette smoking, the new generation smokers have switched their preference to Hookah or Sheesha as it is known in the Middle East.

Till date, the Hookah is linked with many myths in society from being a safe smoking device to that it contains 0.5 percent Nicotine, which makes it harmless to the human body.

Mechanism: Also called as narghile, shisha, goza and lulava, it is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe, a mouthpiece and a hose. Flavored tobacco mixed with jaggery (gur) is heated by coal on the ornamental chilam (chilu), and it works as the smoke passes through the water in the bowl through a rubber hose to the mouthpiece.

 

Origin:

The origin of Hookah is in India, Persia or at a transition point between the two. In the ancient times Indians used to call it huqqa which was then renamed to Hookah.

It was Abul-Fath Gilani (1588), a Persian physician at the Indian court of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar who “first passed the smoke of tobacco through a small bowl of water to purify and cool the smoke and thus invented the Hookah.”

 

Existence in Udaipur :

Hookah wasn’t that popular in the City of Lakes in the past, but grew in popularity following the trend from metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. and to also meet the huge demand by the foreign tourists.

In last few year’s more than 50 lounges have opened to serve the smoke on water to Udaipurites. It also seems to have caught the fancy of college and school going youngsters who are still unaware of it’s ill effects on them. Each evening, these lounges are seen catering to tens of youngsters who in the company of friends smoke these Hookahs in these lounges, cafes and restaurants in the suburbs of the city.

Also, it is very easily available to them as it cost Rs. 200-400 per Hookah/Shisha in Udaipur, which it seems does not put a significant dent into the pockets of the youngsters today.

Though, we have some lounges that only permit individuals 18 years and up to smoke in their lounge, we still need more strict action by the government to keep it away from the minors at least.

 

Facts:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a statement on Hookahs saying that their health risks are no less detrimental than those of cigarettes. Any type of smoking reduces appetite. It also kills certain nutrients in the body, which are essential for the immune system. Loss of appetite may result in weight loss. The findings are briefed as under:

· Hookah smoking is not safer than cigarette smoking.

· Hookah smokers actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers, because of the large volume of smoke they inhale in one smoking session.

· The tobacco is no less toxic in a Hookah pipe, and the water in the Hookah does not filter out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke.

Ill affects:

· Hookah is known to induce diseases faster than cigarette smoking. Experts say that it causes cardiovascular disorders and increases blood pressure. Lung cancer is another common ailment.

· As with cigarette smoking, Hookah smoking is also linked to lung and oral cancers, heart disease and other serious illness.

Dead in trend:

Hookah smoking is more like a cool and ‘in thing’ for a youngster in the beginning, which into an addiction in a while.

A Hookah smoker says: “it is my life as it keeps me in touch with my friends daily and lets us sit around and have new conversations in lounges with beautiful ambience.

Another Hookah smoker said, “Hookah lounges are the new way of socializing with people after Facebook in the 21st century.

I have a question to them…where are we heading to? Since when do we need Hookah and it’s smoke to catch up with our friends? Does it make the hangout more memorable? How can it make ever-lasting memories, when the fake smoke itself can’t last for a moment, and fades away with the air?

I’d like to end this feature with my message to the Hookah smokers – Cigarette smokers are far better in terms of realization as they are aware as to where they are headed, as compared to you Hookah smokers, who have not idea as to the level of harm that is coming your way, when you are smoking a myth.

Ciagarette smokers are being warned, where Hookah smokers are being fooled by the companies with a lie that says ‘SAFE SMOKING’!

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