Shisha smoking – also called hookah, narghile, waterpipe, or hubble bubble smoking – is a way of smoking tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through a bowl and hose or tube.
The tube ends in a mouthpiece from which the smoker inhales the smoke from the substances being burnt into their lungs.
Shisha smoking is traditionally used by people from Middle Eastern or Asian community groups but is becoming increasingly popular among all groups in cities in Ghana. Below are 10 things you may not know about shisha
1. Shisha smoking can be as HARMFUL as smoking cigarette.
Traditionally shisha tobacco contains cigarette tobacco, so like cigarettes it contains nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. As a result, shisha smokers are at risk of the same kinds of diseases as cigarette smokers.
2. Fruit flavours DISGUISE the harmful tobacco in shisha unlike cigarette but it poses the same effects as smoking cigarette.
It’s difficult to say exactly how much smoke or toxic substances you’re exposed to in a typical shisha session.People smoke shisha for much longer periods of time than they smoke a cigarette, and in one puff of shisha you inhale the same amount of smoke as you’d get from a smoking a whole cigarette.
3. Smoking shisha through bubbling water won’t filter out the dangerous TOXINS as some people think.
Some people mistakenly think that shisha smoking is not addictive because the water used in the pipe can absorb nicotine. In reality, because only some of the nicotine is absorbed by the water, shisha smokers are still exposed to enough nicotine to cause an addiction.
4. Shisha smoking during pregnancy can seriously HARM the unborn baby.
Shisha smokers are at risk of the same kinds of diseases as cigarette smokers, such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and problems during pregnancy.
5. An hour of smoking shisha is equal to 200 TIMES the volume of smoke in just 1 cigarette.
It’s difficult to say exactly how much smoke or toxic substances you’re exposed to in a typical shisha session. People smoke shisha for much longer periods of time than they smoke a cigarette, and in one puff of shisha you inhale the same amount of smoke as you’d get from a smoking a whole cigarette.
The average shisha-smoking session lasts an hour and research has shown that in this time you can inhale the same amount of smoke as from more than 100 cigarettes.
6. Second-hand shisha smoke (sitting beside a someone smoking shisha) poses a serious health RISK. If harmful to the second-hand smoker is even severe than the main smoker.
When you smoke shisha, you and anyone sitting near you are breathing in smoke which releases toxins including carbon monoxide and heavy metals –reducing your body’s ability to carry oxygen around in your blood. Second hand smoke is also a worry. If you’re smoking with other people or in a public place and the shisha includes cigarette tobacco, it’s likely you’ll breathe in their second hand smoke too.
7. Sharing a shisha mouthpiece can spread DISEASE.
Shisha pipes use tobacco sweetened with fruit or molasses sugar, which makes the smoke more aromatic than cigarette smoke. Popular flavourings include apple, plum, coconut, mango, mint, strawberry and cola. Wood, coal, or charcoal is burned in the shisha pipe to heat the tobacco and create the smoke because the fruit syrup or sugar makes the tobacco damp. Sharing a shisha mouthpiece can spread contagious diseases.
8. ‘Tobacco-free’ shisha ISN’T SAFE. Smokers can inhale dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Breathing in shisha smoke which releases toxins including carbon monoxide reducing your body’s ability to carry oxygen around in your blood which is very dangerous to your health. It could lead to Asthma.
9. Shisha tobacco contains highly ADDICTIVE nicotine that could make a smoker addictive to it.
Shisha smoking is addictive because because only small of the nicotine is absorbed by the water, shisha smokers are exposed to enough nicotine to cause an addiction.
10. Shisha smoking can DAMAGE your health which may lead to death.
Whether it’s cigarettes or shisha, smoking still remains the number one cause of preventable death in the world.