Hookah’s have really gained popularity in Western culture over the last few years with chic Hookah parlors opening up all over North America. The practice has really grown in popularity among adolescents. It is trendy to smoke a Hookah.
There are both pros and cons to smoking a Hookah that most people have yet to really evaluate but understanding the pros and cons can help you to make good choices for your health. Hookah smoking is not without risk factors.
What Are the Pros of The Hookah?
Everyone that smokes a Hookah will be happy to know that there are good points to smoking a Hookah however the pros are sort of yet to be proven. There is not a lot of research that backs up Hookahs as being a safer form of smoking.
1. Less Oral Risk?
There is a belief that smoking a hookah poses less threat of oral cancer because your mouth never actually comes in contact with the burning tobacco. A hookah has a bowl that holds the tobacco where the tobacco is burned and the delivery is through a hose not from sucking on the end of a cigarette. The tar never actually reaches your lips or mouth. This may be a plus for people that want their nicotine fix but do not want to risk oral cancer.
2. Stress Relief
Hookahs are well known for providing stress relief when you smoke them. While cigarette smoking actually raises your blood pressure hookah smoking an reduce your blood pressure. Of course smoking Hookah is a social event where you gather with friends which can also help to reduce the feelings of stress in your life.
3. Less Nicotine Overall
Since with a Hookah it is common practice to share it there is less ingestion of nicotine over all. While the drag is bigger it is unlike standing or sitting with a cigarette and smoking it alone in its entirety.
There are other potential pros to smoking hookah over smoking cigarettes but they have yet to be proven so they are at this point simply here say and speculation.
What Are the Cons of The Hookah?
Smoking Hookah is still smoking tobacco. That means that you are prone to some of the very same risks that you are when you pick up a cigarette and light it up. Cancer and other health risks are still very viable risks.
Top of the con list is that tobacco is a known carcinogen. A lot of people think that Hookah is somehow safer than smoking a cigarette and while it may reduce the risk of certain cancers you are still at risk for lung cancer. No matter how good the taste of the tobacco is, it is still a carcinogen. You are burning leaves and inhaling them. That can never be good.
2. The Flavors
Adding flavors to Hookah tobacco is a common practice but do consider that these additives may or may not be safe. Anytime you are adding something and burning it you may be at risk. You may be better off smoking unflavored tobacco in your Hookah. There is always a risk involved when you are dealing with additives be aware of that.
3. The Communicable Diseases
Sharing a Hookah is the way it is meant to be smoked however you should know that you are opening yourself to being exposed to germs UNLESS you use a disposable tip that only you use. Pacing the hose around the table and having everyone put their mouth on the mouth piece can open you up to communicable disease. It is always best to use a disposable tip.
4. Side Effects
Smoking a hookah can make you feel dizzy and nauseous if you are not used to it. First time Hookah smokers can easily find themselves feeling a bit woozy from the tobacco and heavy smoke.
5. Nicotine Addiction
The nicotine in the tobacco is highly addictive. You risk becoming addicted to nicotine the more you smoke a Hookah.
Smoking is bad for you period. Does it matter how you get smoke into your lungs? Yes it does. Hookah smoking is probably less likely and issue than smoking cigarettes but is there any redeeming qualities over a non smoker? Not really. Smoking is the practice of putting smoke into your lungs. It is never a good thing to do. It can cause a host of illnesses, some of which are deadly.
Hookah smoking is likely less dangerous than all the other types of smoking but it is still smoking. If it is kept down to a few times a week it likely will not cause you any major problems in life. If you have any breathing disorders it is something that you should seriously consider before you try it. When you have breathing disorders like asthma anything that you put into your lungs is a potential danger.