[MayoClinic] Is Hookah Safer Than Smoking?


There is nothing safer than smoking a Hookah.

A hookah, also known as narghile, shisha or goza is a form of smoking that is smoked through a simple conduit consisting of water pipes, a cigarette holder, and a bowl. When used, a special cigarette specially created for hookah will be lit, the smoke through the container mixes with water and then is sucked out at the end with the mouth part of the straw.

Smoking through a hookah will not reduce harmful substances any more than a regular cigarette, since the water inside the container does not have the function of filtering the toxins out of the tobacco material. In addition, hookah users can also inhale more smoke than smoking with small cigarettes, because of the large volume of smoke they absorb in a single use of hookah, this volume is usually can stay inside the body for up to 60 minutes.

While research on hookah smoking is still in its infancy, there is still plenty of evidence to suggest that this type of smoking presents many dangers:

Hookah smoke contains high concentrations of toxic compounds including tar, CO, heavy metals and carcinogens. In fact, users are more affected by CO2 and secondhand smoke than regular smokers.

Along with smoking, hookah has also been linked to throat cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, and a number of other serious conditions.

+ Hookah also gives the same amount of nicotine as regular smoking, potentially leading to addiction

+ Hookah is also dangerous to those who indirectly inhale the smoke

Pregnant women who use hookah are more likely to have low birth weight babies

+ The hookah straws used by many people at bars, or cafes may not be really cleaned, thereby giving a high chance of spreading infectious diseases.

From the author J. Taylor Hays, MD


  1. El-Zaatari ZM, et al. Health effects associated with waterpipe smoking. Tobacco Control. 2015;24:i31.
  2. Shihadeh A, et al. Toxicant content, physical properties and biological activity of waterpipe tobacco smoke and its tobacco-free alternatives. Tobacco Control. 2015;24:i22.
  3. Hookahs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/hookahs/index.htm. Accessed June 2, 2015.
  4. Hookah smoking: A growing threat to public health. American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/tobacco-control-advocacy/reports-resources/. Accessed June 2, 2015.

Translated by: Quoc Dung

Self-translated article at ykhoa.org, please do not reup!

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