22 apple Spring 2014Youthful
Inhaling tobacco-like productsfrom a hookah, or water pipe, is asdamaging as standing downwind froma raging forest fire and breathing thesmoke. In short, smoking flavouredherbal products, or shisha, is bad foryou.
Just because products are labelledherbal doesn’t mean they’re safe.
“There is also the perception thatbecause people bubble the smokethrough water that some of the toxic
The hoopla over the hookah
Researchers find good reason to ban public use of shisha
materials normally associated withsmoking tobacco are removed duringthis process,” says Dr. Barry Finegan,AHS anesthetist and professor at theUniversity of Alberta’s Faculty ofMedicine and Dentistry.
In fact, the bubbling water doesn’tdo anything to remove heavy metalssuch as chromium, nickel and evenarsenic, that Finegan and his researchteam found in different herbal shishaavailable in Alberta.
“We found potentially dangerous
material in the basic product and
when the product was smoked. We
found that both the smoke that people
inhale and the smoke that comes off
the end of the device contained exactly
the same, if not more, cancer-causing
chemicals as tobacco.”
People who use shisha inhale an
average of 50 litres of smoke at each
session—akin to breathing in that
forest fire for 45 minutes. Over time,
An AHS study shows smoking shisha is akin to breathing smoke from a forest fire for 45 minutes.