Although the popularity of hookah (tobacco pipe) has increased in recent years, researchers say it is more dangerous than other forms of smoking tobacco.
Using a custom-made test device, the researchers analyzed the emissions during a typical hookah session and found that a draw from the pipe contained a lot of toxic substances, like a cigarette.
“Hooka mainstream smoke inhaled directly contains many toxic and harmful chemicals, such as tobacco addiction, irritating carbonyl compounds, and benzene, a known carcinogen,” says lead author Veronique Perad from the University of California.
“Because of the high volume of each puff and the length of the smoking session, the hookah often provides smokers with an overdose of those chemicals,” says Perad.
It produces large amounts of carbon monoxide, primarily from burning coal or heating tobacco or herbal blends in its bowl. The study, published in the journal Aerosol Science and Technology, also referred to several cases of carbon monoxide intoxication.
In addition to testing regular tobacco, the group also studied the herbal blend, which is free of nicotine, marketed as a healthy alternative and found that it still produces high levels of toxic gases.
This study is the first to characterize ultra-fine particles (with diameter smaller than 100 nanometers) in inhaled smoke.
Researchers measure the chemical composition of gases and solids emitted during a hookah session in real time. “With our technology of testing emissions at the beginning, middle and end of the smoking session, we have been able to show that smokers are exposed to excessive ultra-fine particles in the first 10 minutes compared to the rest of the session,” she said.
According to the study, these small cells pose significant health risks by going deeper into the pulmonary system and easily crossing the blood-brain barrier.
*From Various Sources