That's the stark warning in a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement.
A single half-hour session of smoking tobacco in a hookah typically exposes the user to more carbon monoxide than a single cigarette. Even short-term exposure to carbon monoxide in the water pipes is toxic and can reduce exercise capacity, according to the statement published March 8 in the journal Circulation.
Hookah smoke also contains other potentially harmful chemicals that can affect the heart and blood vessels, authors of the statement said. Those chemicals include nicotine, air pollutants, particulate matter, volatile organic chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrolein, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Levels of most are higher in hookah smoke than cigarette smoke.
"Hookah smoke contains harmful substances and the American Heart Association strongly recommends avoiding the use of tobacco in any form," said Aruni Bhatnagar, chairman of the group that wrote the scientific statement. He's director of the University of Louisville Diabetes and Obesity Center.
Evidence that hookah smoking has a serious impact on heart rate and blood pressure is mounting, and chronic use has been linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
"Many young people mistakenly believe that smoking tobacco from a hookah is less harmful than cigarette smoking because the tobacco is filtered through water, but there is no scientific evidence that supports that claim," Bhatnagar said in an AHA news release.
"However, there is evidence to suggest that hookah smoking is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products such as cigarettes," he said.
Nearly 5 percent of high school students and close to 14 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in the United States use hookahs, recent surveys suggest. Young adults account for 55 percent of hookah smokers nationwide.
Hookah use is also associated with an increased likelihood of smoking cigarettes.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on hookahs.
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But researchers at the University of Cincinnati have taken some initial steps to quantify the dangers, studying both hookah smoke and the unsmoked version of "shisha the type of tobacco used in hookahs. The scientists worry sweetened and flavoured tobacco in hookah makes it appealing to young users, while social media further promotes hubble bubble smoking. What are your concerns? But is one actually safer than the other? Treatment for...
Unlike cigarettes, shisha is often sold in colourful packaging, which may also attract a young audience. Whereas cigarettes are usually smoked colon Cancer Usually Diagnosed Late in Under-50 Adults alone by an individual, a hookah pipe is usually shared by several individuals, as they "pass around" the pipe at a hookah lounge or home event. . 'Many young people mistakenly believe that smoking tobacco from a hookah is less harmful than cigarette smoking because the tobacco if filtered through water, but there is no scientific evidence that supports that claim. Epidemiologic risk factors for esophageal cancer development.