There is a lot of misinformation about hookahs, and many people think they are safer than smoking cigarettes. That is simply not the case. A hookah is a single or multi stemmed device where tobacco smoke is drawn through a water filled basin before entering a person’s lungs. Many people believe that since the smoke is drawn through water, all the “bad stuff” is filtered out.
The truth is the smoke from a hookah has all of the same dangerous chemicals as other tobacco smoke. Instead of filtering the smoke, the water in the basin cools it, making it easier to draw the smoke deeper into the lungs and delivering all of those dangerous chemicals deeper into the body. Additionally, the smoke has been shown to have about four times more nicotine than cigarettes, making hookahs more addictive. In fact, an evening of smoking a hookah for 45-60 minutes is like chain smoking 15 cigarettes. Not to mention the fact that sharing mouthpieces increases a persons risk for bacterial infections, viral infections like oral herpes, and tuberculosis.
For help quitting, contact the Student Health Center or your health care provider today!