When scrolling through social media, you may have seen posts with hashtags like #hookah or #sheesha. Such items serve to illustrate the use of waterpipes in an overwhelmingly positive manner, despite its serious health risks, a new study suggests.
What the study says
A team of researchers from Florida International University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Miami, the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies and the University of Pittsburgh has tagged 279 posts from 11,517 posts with Shisha or Sheesha within four days. The findings, published in the journal Health Education and Behavior, suggest that such portrayal and promotion of hookah smoking can normalize its use and endanger public health.
This comes at a time when there is growing evidence of a link between smoking hookah and nicotine dependence, as well as smoking-related illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.
The study found that 99.6% of the contributions showed positive feelings for the use of water pipes and only one (0.4%) indicated its negative health effects. The researchers also found that 1
Hookah smoke also contains the same carcinogenic particles found in second-hand smoke and 100 times more lead than regular cigarettes.
Common Myths About Smoking Hookahs
Here are some of the other common myths about smoking hookahs, such as Snehal Singh, senior lifestyle and wellness management consultant at Healthians, and Sargam Dhawan, director, Planet Herbs Lifesciences, explain important myths About the hookah:
* Myth: Shisha is not as dangerous as cigarette smoking.
While shisha smoke is water-cooled and filtered, its smoke contains significant amounts of the same chemicals that damage cigarette smoke. It also produces toxic gases like carbon monoxide and carcinogenic chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer and heart problems. Shisha smoke also contains the same carcinogenic particles found in secondhand smoke and 100 times the amount of lead as normal cigarettes.
* Myth: Shisha is not addictive like a cigarette.
Hookah smoking can cause inhalation of tobacco that contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance and smoking hookah can be as addictive as smoking cigarettes.
* Myth: Smoking hookah does not affect others.  Water pipe smoking triggers second-hand smoke that can affect other people. It releases fine particles in the air that are harmful to those around you. Even in the case of non-tobacco waterpipes, the toxic content in the smoke is the same as in tobacco products.
(With input from IANS)