31 May 2007

Hookahs just as bad

Smoking a hookah may pose the same health risks as puffing on cigarettes, says the World Health Organisation.

Smoking a water pipe (hookah) may pose the same health risks as puffing on cigarettes, says an advisory note released Tuesday by the World Health Organization, the Associated Press reported.

"Using a water pipe to smoke tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking," according to the WHO document. "Contrary to ancient lore and popular belief, the smoke that emerges from a water pipe contains numerous toxicants known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and other diseases."

The UN health agency called for more research to examine the association between hookah use and a number of deadly diseases, the AP reported.

The hookah has been used for centuries in North Africa, the Middle East and Central and South Asia. Recently, it's become increasingly popular in South Africa, Europe and the United States, particularly among college students and young adults.

Hookah users aren't the only ones who may be at risk. The WHO said that second-hand smoke from hookahs appears to pose the same health risks as second-hand smoke from cigarettes, the AP reported. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Top 5 smoking myths
Hubbly not safer than cigarettes

May 2007


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Mental health & your work »

How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help

If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips.

Sleep & You »

Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia

6 things that are sabotaging your sleep

Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.