Smoking hookah is a common pastime during social gatherings and continues to grow in popularity.
Worldwide, it is estimated that 100 million people use hookah daily.1 Despite its popularity, not many users are aware of the dangers of smoking hookah. Because it contains various chemicals, including tobacco and nicotine, it can cause severe physical damage, long term effects, and addiction. Individuals struggling with addiction to hookah may need to join a residential treatment program at a rehab facility.
What is Hookah?
Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke different blends of tobacco, sugar, and fruits that come in different flavors. Smoking with hookahs originates from the Middle East and has quickly spread across the world. They pass heated air through the tobacco, which is then passed through a small chamber filled with water. The user would then inhale the smoke through a tube.
Individuals who often use hookah believe that it’s less harmful than smoking cigarettes or any other drug. However, hookah contains several dangerous ingredients that can be toxic to the body. Hookah users are exposed to more carbon monoxide than individuals who smoke cigarettes.2
Some of these ingredients include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Heavy metals
These ingredients, specifically carcinogens, have been known to cause cancer and other health issues. Hookah users also put those around them at risk of experiencing the effects of secondhand smoke. At Banyan Heartland, we provide a medically monitored detox treatment to help those struggling with addiction begin their recovery process.
What are the dangers of Hookah?
Because hookah tobacco contains nicotine, smoking can lead to long-term health problems and cancer. Hookah is also just as addictive as cigarettes because of the nicotine it has and because it’s smoked for longer periods than cigarettes.
Some of the dangers of smoking hookah include:
- Cancer in the esophagus
- Oral cancer
- Reduced lung function
- Lung cancer
- Decreased fertility
- Stomach cancer
- Heart disease
The tubes used to inhale the smoke released from the hookah is often passed around to different people. This also increases the risk of users contracting other diseases like colds, cases of flu, infections, and oral herpes.2 Individuals who are exposed to second-hand smoke from a hookah can also suffer from these complications. The effects of smoking hookah can be long term, and sometimes life-threatening.
At our rehab center in Heartland, we care for our patients and help them overcome their addiction. We understand that addiction can be a terrifying and difficult disease to recover from, but it’s not impossible.
If you or someone you know battles with drug or alcohol abuse, do not wait to get help. Call us now at 888-280-4763
- NCBI- Waterpipe tobacco smoking: knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior in two U.S. samples
- GPTCHB- Tobacco Fact Sheet
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