A hookah is mainly a water pipe that is used to smoke tobacco that has been sweetened. The product has many other names among them including narghile, argileh, shisha, hubble-bubble, and Goza. These pipes usually are huge with several stemming that can be used by different smokers. Primary agents that are used to flavor hookah range from molasses, fruit pulp or honey and many other elements. It is this particular flavoring that makes hookah most attractive to young people. Hookah was invented back in the 1600s by a medical doctor in India who believed that the health hazards of tobacco could be reduced by having it go through water before it could be inhaled. It is these misconceptions about hookah that most people still hold on especially the young people about it being less harmful. In this paper, we took the time to look at the reasons why some people prefer shisha to other tobacco products.
The first reason why people choose hookah over other tobacco products is that the smoke in shisha is filtered through water. It is due to this that most people believe it contains fewer ingredients compared to other tobacco products. Most of the ingredients in shisha dissolve in water, and the product that results is considered to be less harmful to the body even when consumed in large quantities. Despite the fact that research has shown that hookah still contains nicotine and other toxic products most people who smoke shisha don't quite believe in this fact. More to this, studies have indicated that chronic shisha smokers still suffer the same effects as the other regular tobacco smokers. It then proves that even though the shisha is filtered, it doesn't filter out nicotine and other carcinogenic substances that are found in tobacco. As a result, many people end up suffering from cancer and other lung-related problems those other tobacco smokers suffer. Even though this is so, most hookah smokers are not convinced about this side effect, and the numbers of smokers continue to rise every day (Griffiths et al. 123). The primary myth about the water filtering out the main ingredients of shisha still stands.
Secondly, most people prefer hookah to other tobacco products because they believe that inhaling the smoke from shisha does not burn the lungs. In other tobacco products, it is apparently sure that the lungs are not usually able to keep up with the smoke for a very long time. As a result due to the toxins found in the tobacco, the lungs end up being burned. It is this particular burning that may result in cancer and other side effects to the lungs. The hookah smokers believe that the smoke does not burn the lungs when inhaled because it is cooled. But most health reports have indicated that despite the fact that the smoke is cooled, it still contains harmful ingredients that might even result in burning out of the lungs. The carcinogenic and nicotine substances result in the burning of the lungs, and this may be harmful in the long run (Carroll et al. 319). The smokers, however, believe that carbon monoxide alone has no adverse effects on the lungs of an individual. They, therefore, prefer to smoke shisha as it still makes them feel high but does not necessarily contain any harmful effects on the body.
Additionally, most people believe that hookah is less likely to cause addiction as compared to other tobacco substances. Most people think that because shisha does not contain nicotine, it is not addictive at all. In most cases, it is the nicotine part of the cigarette that causes addiction in most individuals, and thus the lack of is an advantage. As the tobacco is smoked in a vaporized manner, the smoke is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream that in turn triggers the dopamine hormone which results in a feeling of pleasure. Research has shown that contrary to the beliefs of many people, shisha can easily cause addiction like any other tobacco substance. Even though the dopamine in the element is polarized and sometimes decomposed a sufficient dose that can cause the released dopamine is also able to create some somatic dependency on the individuals. The dopamine release is due to the nicotine found in the shisha, and thus; as a result, continuous use causes addition to the victims. Further studies have still revealed that shisha burns at higher temperatures compared to cigarettes and therefore more likely to cause addiction as compared to the later (Lee et al. 137). Many hookah smokers, however, don't entirely agree with this particular truth.
Moreover, individuals believe that hookah flavored with fruits that contain various health benefits to the body. It is because fruits are thought to be a great benefit to the body as they act as the primary source of vitamins. Different flavors can be used in the hookah and mostly they range from fruits, molasses among many other varieties available in the marketplace. The different flavors are most enticing to people, and this is especially young kids. They mainly smoke it to get the flavor that it offers as it is the many substances that attract them. A study showed that some parents still encouraged their children to take shisha as they view it as less harmful with no significant health effects on the body. They concentrate on the flavored fruits and thus see it like any other flavored substance for the kids like juice and the likes. Research, however, shows that the flavor in the element due to the high amount of temperatures used is not of any benefit to the user. The vitamins in the substance are highly heated and thus deforming the nutrition content of the same (Potera 339). The material is therefore not available to the body informs that can be utilized to bring about the desired health benefits. Despite all these many hookah smokers still, hold on this myth and thus continue to use it for pleasure.
Another reason why most people prefer hookah to other products made from tobacco is that they believe that smoking hookah is less harmful compared to smoking cigarette and other products such as weed among many others. Many hookah smokers think that smoking shisha is less dangerous compared to marijuana. They believe that the health effects that come along with smoking other tobacco products such as cancer and other lung problems are not applicable to shisha smokers. However, research has shown that shisha has numerous health effects on the smokers that are as dangerous as those who smoke tobacco directly. Hookah contains harmful substances that may result in clogged arteries and veins on the individuals. More so the charcoal that is used to heat the tobacco can increase the health risks by leading to the production of increased levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and other cancer-causing chemicals. They also contain several toxins that are known to cause lung, bladder and oral cancers. More so the juices from the hookah tobacco are known to irritate the mouth and result in oral cancers (Khan, 55). The effects to pregnant mothers and their children are also the same as that of smoking tobacco where the children are born with less weight. Despite all these effects the smokers still hold on that the hookah is less harmful compared to the other tobacco products in the marketplace and thus continuously prefer it to the others.
Lastly, the emergence of herbal shisha has increased preference for hookah over other tobacco products such as cigarette and weed. Herbal shisha is said not to contain any tobacco at all and thus shield one from the detrimental effects found in tobacco. The smokers believe that because the shisha is mainly herbal, it is safer and healthier compared to the other forms of regular shisha in the marketplace. Despite this, several studies have indicated that this kind of shisha still contains harmful substances such as tar carbon monoxide, nitro oxide, heavy metals and other cancer-causing chemicals. The author argues that the fact that most shisha smokers don't come in contact with the package of shisha is proof enough that they may not be aware of the health risks they are exposing themselves to in the process. The name herbal on the shisha is thought to be misused as it does not imply in the real sense the actual contents of the shisha. It is because, in the modern generation, anything that is thought to be herbal is seen as less harmful compared to all other substances of the same effect. The author calls therefore for the users of the contents to be careful with the kind of substance they select and dismisses the notion that anything in the name of shisha will not be harmful to the individuals (Sussman 1012). Despite this research, most smokers still hold on that herbal shisha is better compared to the regular shisha and other forms tobacco. The main argument here is because herbal hookah is thought to contain less of tobacco and sometimes no tobacco at all. With this kind of understanding, more people will still keep on smoking shisha.
In conclusion, it is precise that different people hold diverse views about hookah and its related side effects. The main smokers of shisha believe that the substance is less harmful compared to regular tobacco for various reasons. One of the main reasons is because shisha is filtered through water before it is consumed by the smokers and thus has a less burning effect on the individuals. Researchers have also come up to refute what they term as misconceptions about shisha smoking and established several facts about the same. The smokers however never agree with any of the findings and still hold on to their truths by themselves. Finally several reasons put forth in support of smoking hookah over other tobacco products such as being less harmful to health is seen as one of the reasons why many people are now smoking hookah.
Carroll, Mary V, et al. "A Comparison of Cigarette-and Hookah-Related Videos on YouTube." Tobacco Control, vol. 22, no. 5, 2013, pp. 319-323. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43289400.
Griffiths, Merlyn A., et al. "Hubble Bubble Trouble: The Need for Education About and Regulation of Hookah Smoking." Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, vol. 30, no. 1, 2011, pp. 119-132. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23209266.
Khan, Nilofar. "My Father in His Hookah Days." Journal of South Asian Literature, vol. 30, no. 1/2, 1995, pp. 53-59. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40873563.
Lee, Youn Ok, et al. "Hookah Steam Stones: Smoking Vapour Expands from Electronic Cigarettes to Waterpipes." Tobacco Control, vol. 22, no. 2, 2013, pp. 136-137. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43289319.
Potera, Carol. "Smoking and Secondhand Smoke. Hookahs: Hot and Hazardous." Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 119, no. 8, 2011, pp. A339-A339. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41233448.
Sussman, Henry. "The Hookah Quadrille: A Conversation-Loop." MLN, vol. 125, no. 5, 2010, pp. 1010-1019. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23012513
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