Tobacco is a primary health concern for most countries nowadays. Tobacco had already been used in America for the past 1000 years. Many Native American tribes have traditionally grown and used tobacco as an entheogen. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is the one of the greatest individual causes of preventable death globally. It has been stated in a study conducted by WHO where more than 100 million deaths happened over the course of the 20th century.
Tobacco is consumed in various parts of the globe and also in a number of methods such as chewing tobacco, hookahs and cigarettes. Any form of consumption of tobacco contains health risks that affect the heart, liver and lungs.
Hookah smoking is as harmful as smoking cigarettes:
Hookah is basically the practise of smoking tobacco through elaborated water pipes. It emerged centuries ago in the palaces and harems of the Middle East. But the concept of hookah originated in India during the Mughal rule. It has been stated in various researches that the usage of hookah in ancient times was not only a custom, but a matter of prestige. Only rich and elite classes would smoke hookah.
Hookah is widely known as shisha, narghile, and goza. It is a bowl-shaped device with a tubular water pipe along with a smoke chamber. Hookah is specially made when tobacco is heated, and the smoke passes through water and is then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece.
Usage and trend of hookah consumption
Traditionally, hookah was very popular in the Middle East but as the world progresses, it has paved its way towards the West. In the U.S, hookah is often considered as a fun, harmless and lighter version of smoking. As per the trend, hookah is being served in pubs, clubs and cafes to attract the majority of young customers aged between 18 to 25. Moreover, hookah lounges are appearing all over the United States near the universities, where the crowd of young people are more. American mostly prefers maassel, which is a sweetened tobacco with tempting flavours like apple, watermelon and mint.
Currently, hookah smoking is regarded as the social element of going out with friends to charmingly decorated hookah lounges, which are filled with a gamut of sweet-smelling aromas.
Ill effects of smoking hookah in comparison with cigarette smoking:
People have a misconception that hookah smoking is an inexpensive and safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. But, the truth is that hookah smoke contains nicotine and other dangerous toxic substances as cigarette smoke. As the report of Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, normal hookah smoking session lasts for about an hour and the smoker usually inhales 100-200 times the volume of smoke as compared to a cigarette. Some of the dangerous ingredients and harmful effects of hookah smoking are as follows:
- Nicotine- Nicotine is an addictive chemical in tobacco products, various researches suggest that smoking hookah delivers greater amounts of nicotine as compared to cigarettes. It stimulates different parts of the brain and provides a feeling of pleasure in the central nervous system. It helps the smokers in increasing adrenaline and also accelerates the heart rate and blood pressure.
- Charcoal- Charcoal wood cinder which is used to burn tobacco can increase the amount of cancer and heart disease causing agents in the smoke.
- Tar- Cigarettes contain tar and hookah flavours too consist of tar, which is brown, sticky material that leads to cancer and other health problems. Tar also causes stains on teeth and fingers.
- Carbon monoxide- This toxic gas is a colourless and odourless gas which is very harmful for the smokers and the people around them. It depends on the hookah pipe and how much smoke it will produce. Basically, several factors are responsible for producing high smoke including the kind of tobacco, type of charcoal and the size of the pipe. Further, carbon monoxide intake may develop risk of cancer in smokers and in severe cases carbon monoxide poisoning may lead the person to coma or even death.
- Communicable diseases- Smokers are prone to diseases spread through saliva because of the sharing of hookah pipe like hepatitis and tuberculosis.
Hookah or cigarette smoking is an addictive thing and people feel that they get relaxed after puffing these. Apart from pleasant flavourings and smoother taste, hookah act as a devil in disguise and should be avoided.
Why quit smoking?
People think that smoking hookah or cigarettes is cool but this is not true. It is one of the worst addictions, which can ruin your life in terms of your health, society, friendship and money. Any form of smoking affects your lungs and airways and also generates a variety of problems related to breathing. To lead a normal and healthy life, you have to quit smoking and it will be proved as the best decision of your life because it helps you in:
- Improving your health– You can improve your health, lifestyle and also feel a drastic change which you might not expect. It helps you in boosting up your stamina, which was lost during smoking days. Moreover, chances of getting heart attack and cancer also go down.
- Getting closer to your family- When you quit smoking hookah or cigarette, it may seem to be a tough challenge for you. The best way to completely protect your family from second-hand smoke is by making your car and home smoke free.
- Improved fertility- You may become more fertile and active after quitting smoking because it improves the fertility of sperm, and most importantly it improves the chances in ladies of giving birth to a healthy baby.
How can you get rid of smoking hookah?
It is very easy to say quit smoking for someone who does not smoke, but for smokers, it is very hard to “quit”. A true fact is that quitting isn’t easy because nicotine in any sort of tobacco is a powerful addictive drug. But to quit, strong desire along with right approach is necessary. Below mentioned are various ways to quit smoking hookah and cigarettes:
- Decide a date and put it in writing- It has been reported that quitting smoking needs various attempts. But, do not feel depressed if you have tried earlier to quit. Now, you have to first decide a date on which you want to get rid of these terrible things. Make a list of reasons in writing why you want to quit smoking like saving money and to regain stamina which you have lost and keep the list along with you because whenever you have a craving for smoking, you can see it and focus on your words.
- Try not to go to smoky places- If you seriously want to get rid of smoking, then you have to avoid smoker zones, pubs and bars.
- Purchase nicotine gums or patches- Nicotine gum is a type of chewing gum that provides nicotine to the body and is mainly used as an aid in Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Nicotine gum is produced in such a way that it delivers nicotine to the bloodstream via absorption by the tissues of the mouth. About 1.5-2 million Americans try nicotine gums each year. Therefore, nicotine gum is the best product for gradually kick off the tobacco habit.
Also Read: Heart Attack- Know the risk
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