Amid the raging debate on health hazards of electronic cigarettes and traditional cigarette smoking, researchers have revealed that the age-old hookah or water-pipe smoking has less harmful impact on smokers.
According to a new research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, hookah tobacco and smoke contains lower levels of four toxic metals than those found in cigarettes. This makes them apparently a healthy alternative for smokers.
“Any form of smoking is dangerous, and our studies on toxic metals in hookah smoke are taking the first steps toward the necessary animal and human studies that will establish a clearer picture of the relative dangers of hookah and cigarette smoking,” Joseph Caruso, Ph.D., who led the study, said in a statement. “It is very difficult to compare hookah smoking with cigarette smoking because they are done so differently,” he stressed.
Researches collected 12 different samples of hookah tobacco made in the U.S. and Middle East and converted them into liquid form. During the test, they found that hookah tobacco contained fewer toxic metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and chromium than those in cigarette.
The specially prepared tobacco for water pipes contains molasses, honey and flavoring agents and lower levels of toxic metals, scientists say.
Despite the recent findings, Caruso stressed for a detailed research saying there are difficulties comparing the two kinds of tobacco.
A hookah, also known as narghile, shisha and goza, is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe and a hose. Specially made tobacco is heated, and the smoke passes through water and is then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece.
More and more people are indulging into the habit of smoking in US. Moreover, the number of teens in United States opting for e-cigarettes or modern electronic cigarettes has increased. The US administration is mulling over bringing a policy to regulate its use.