Is Smoking a Hookah Pipe Really as Bad For You as Cigarettes?

Over the past few years, there’s been a huge push to demonise hookah pipes and smoking shisha in general. Most of it stems from a world health organisation report that suggestest smoking hookah is the same as smoking 200 cigarettes. But is that actually true?

The issue is to do with what’s inhaled. Now, we know that shisha smoke, when using tobacco, contains nicotine. We also know now that the waterbowl doesn’t get rid of that nicotine, and in fact, many of the chemicals stay in the smoke that is inhaled. However, it doesn’t help when things like this are printed by journals such as CDC.

An hour-long hookah smoking session involves 200 puffs, while smoking an average cigarette involves 20 puffs

Let’s analyse that for a second. There’s about a gram of tobacco in a cigarette and it takes about 20 puffs. So does this mean we’re immediately smoking ten times more tobacco?

No! If you only put five grams of tobacco in your shisha, the maximum you can smoke is five grams whether you take 200 puffs or 1000 puffs!

In effect, an hour-long shisha smoking session therefore, is about the same as five cigarettes at most, but of course, not all that tobacco you put in the pipe is used.

We’re not saying shisha is healthy, we’re just saying that when you know the facts and you use it responsibly, you can still enjoy your shisha, and we need to see an end to hysterical reporting like this.

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