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Hookah smoking: Is it safer than cigarettes?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hookah/AN01265
- With Mayo Clinic internist
Lowell Dale, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lowell Dale, M.D.Lowell Dale, M.D.
Dr. Lowell Dale is the medical director of Mayo Clinic Tobacco Quitline and an associate professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. Dr. Dale is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and he has been an internal medicine consultant at Mayo since 1985.
As a consultant in the Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Dr. Dale has served on various divisional committees, including the Administrative Committee, Education Committee, Personnel Committee and Long Range Planning Committee.
Dr. Dale is an accomplished author on treatment, health professional education and research issues related to tobacco use and dependence. He has contributed to numerous medical journals, including Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Dale received his B.A. degree from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and his M.D. degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School.
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Hookah smoking: Is it safer than cigarettes?
Is hookah smoking safer than smoking cigarettes?
from Lowell Dale, M.D.
Hookah smoking is not safer than cigarette smoking.
Also known as narghile, shisha and goza, a hookah is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe and a hose. Specially made tobacco is heated, and the smoke passes through water and is then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece.
The tobacco is no less toxic in a hookah pipe, and the water in the hookah does not filter out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke. Hookah smokers may actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers do because of the large volume of smoke they inhale in one smoking session, which can last as long as 60 minutes.
While research about hookah smoking is still emerging, evidence shows that it poses many dangers:
- Hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). In fact, hookah smokers are exposed to more carbon monoxide and smoke than are cigarette smokers.
- As with cigarette smoking, hookah smoking is linked to lung and oral cancers, heart disease, and other serious illnesses.
- Hookah smoking delivers about the same amount of nicotine as cigarette smoking, possibly leading to tobacco dependence.
- Hookah smoke poses dangers associated with secondhand smoke.
- Hookah smoking by pregnant women can result in low birth weight babies.
- Hookah pipes used in hookah bars and cafes may not be cleaned properly, risking the spread of infectious diseases.
Electronic cigarettes: A safe way to light up?
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