Smoking hookah waterpipes could be even more dangerous than other forms of smoking, according to a new study.
Using a custom-built testing apparatus, chemists analyzed emissions during a typical communal waterpipe session and found that one draw from a pipe can contain as many noxious substances as smoke from an entire cigarette. One in five college students in the U.S. and Europe have tried a hookah waterpipe.
"Hookah mainstream smoke — that which is directly inhaled by the user — has many toxic and harmful chemicals, such as nicotine, which can lead to tobacco addiction; irritating carbonyl compounds; and benzene, a known carcinogen," says Veronique Perraud, an associate project scientist in the chemistry department at the University of California, Irvine and lead author of the paper in Aerosol Science and Technology.
"And due to the greater volume inhaled for every puff and the longer duration of a smoking session, the hookah oftentimes delivers a higher dose of those chemicals to the smoker."