Hookah smoking – The new trend among the cosmopolitan elite
Hookahs were first used in the early 14th century in Northern Africa and gradually made their way all over the world. Hookah smoking has become the latest craze among the cosmopolitan elite. Several hookah bars have sprung up in many metros across the world. Many patrons claim that smoking a hookah is far better than cigarettes because the water tends to filter the harmful chemicals and smoke, experts beg to differ. Scientists point out that the hookah might filter out some irritants but the smoke still has high levels of Nicotine, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals. The bars are popular amongst the 18-24 year olds.
The American Lung Association and the WHO point out that hookah smoking is associated with the same dangers as cigarettes and can lead to heart disease, cancers, lung diseases and worsening of Asthma attacks. Current estimates are that there are 100 million hookah smokers daily.
Hookah smoke contains harmful agents in the inhaled smoke in amounts more than a normal cigarette because the quantity of the inhaled smoke is also larger. The mildness of the inhaled smoke allows for deeper inhalations. One session of 45 minutes with a hookah could theoretically be equal to 100 cigarettes. The smoke contains substantial amounts of Nicotine, Arsenic, Cobalt, Chromium and Lead. Many ex-smokers are taking up the habit to keep away the cravings from normal cigarette withdrawal but in hindsight they are doing more damage than usual.