What's a few toxins between friends? All hookah smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals and toxins, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and tar.
What is hookah smoking?
- The hookah, also known as a water-pipe or shisha, is a device used to smoke tobacco product and herbal product that is specially made with molasses and flavouring.
Why should I be concerned?
Who’s using the hookah?
Ottawa data collected in 2014 shows that approximately 14% of people over the age of 18 in Ottawa have used a hookah at some point in their life, with nearly 50% of those aged 18 to 24 reporting that they have tried a hookah.
Since 2006, hookah use among the Ontario population aged 18 and up has tripled from 3% to 10% in 2012.
Why is hookah smoking dangerous to my health?
- It can be addictive. The tobacco used in a hookah contains nicotine, the same highly addictive drug found in cigarettes.
- Chemicals are absorbed into your body. The smoke from a hookah pipe contains chemicals and toxins including carbon monoxide, carcinogens, heavy metals and tar. The water in a hookah pipe does not act as a filter.
- There are health risks. Hookah smoking is associated with a number of poor health outcomes including lung cancer, respiratory illness, low birth weight, carbon monoxide poisoning, adverse cardiac events and periodontal disease.
- You can catch an infectious disease. There is a risk of contracting viruses and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, herpes, influenza, and oral disease from sharing the hose or mouthpiece of a hookah pipe. The use of a disposable tip does not prevent the transmission of contagious diseases.
- It produces second-hand smoke. A recent study conducted by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit showed that the air quality in hookah bars tested in Toronto was unhealthy and potentially hazardous.
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