Hookahs are water pipes, used to smoke flavored tobacco, that use hot charcoal to heat the tobacco. The use of hookah pipes is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking – hookah smoking can cause oral and lung cancers as well as heart disease. 1
Hookah tobacco contains the same chemicals found in all tobacco, including nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals. Many of those that use hookah think that the water “filters” the tobacco, thus making it safer to use. In reality, the water just cools it, making it easier to inhale the toxic smoke. In addition, secondhand hookah smoke also contains the same cancer-causing particulates found in cigarette smoke. 2
Hookah use is increasing as its flavored tobacco options, like apple, strawberry and cola, are popular with young adults. Additionally, hookah stores are increasing in number around colleges.
For more information on what you can do about hookah in your community, click here.