Some hookah bars sell non-tobacco products, which they may advertise as having no harmful effects. This is a myth, as the smoke still contains carbon monoxide, a harmful compound, and other toxins.
Other myths about hookah smoking include:
Hookah smoking is not addictive.
Hookah smoke contains nicotine, a highly addictive compound.
The water in hookah smoke filters harmful ingredients.
The water in hookah smoke does not filter out any harmful chemicals.
Cigarettes ‘burn’ the lungs because they use heat, and hookah smoke is cooler, so it does not burn.
Smoke from a hookah can still damage the heart and lungs, even after cooling down.
Electric Heat Hookahs
Manufacturers have released newer versions of hookahs that use electric heat instead of charcoal. The makers call these e-charcoal heat sources and often market them as a safer alternative to traditional charcoal hookahs.
However, experts have very little knowledge about the health risks of electronic tobacco products at this stage.
The University of Cincinnati report early research that a team of its chemists is doing to look at the components of smoke generated by e-charcoal. The researchers say they have found that e-charcoal smoke kills 80 percent of sample lung cells 24 hours after exposure.
This risk is more significant than the higher-toxin charcoal the team tested, which kills 25 percent of lung cells. The lower-toxin charcoal was found to kill 10 percent of sample lung cells.
As a result, the researchers conclude that e-charcoal hookah options could potentially be more dangerous than their charcoal counterparts.
More published scientific research is now needed to confirm these early results.
While some people believe hookah smoking is a safer and more social alternative to smoking tobacco, it does not offer health benefits and poses several significant health risks.
Hookah smoking also puts other people at risk of inhaling secondhand smoke. So, to reduce the risks of damaging the lungs and other organs, it is best for people to avoid smoking tobacco products, including by using a hookah.