Many people smoke water pipes — known as hookahs — as an alternative to cigarettes because they believe that it is less dangerous and doesn't have any of the bad side effects associated with cigarettes. It's a social habit, and many bars are now adopting them as a draw for crowds in a competitive business.
But a new research study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has
shown that hookah smoke may expose users to different toxic chemicals
and could result in different types of cancer than cigarette smoke.
"Water-pipe smoking at 'hookah bars' has become popular with young
people in the United States, and some believe that it is less harmful
than cigarette smoking," said Peyton Jacob III,
Ph.D., a University of California, San Francisco research chemist at
San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. "We report for the
first time that toxicant exposures from water-pipe and cigarette smoking
differed in pattern, with higher exposure to some toxicants like carbon
monoxide and benzene in water-pipe smokers."
Researchers asked 13 healthy adults (eight men and five women) who
were experienced in smoking hookah and cigarettes to participate in the
experiment. Study participants smoked either four days every day and
then at a later time they were told to smoke hookah for the same time
period. This was done to compare the effects of the different smoking
methods in the same person.
Water pipe smoking exposed participants to half the amount of
nicotine as cigarettes. Researchers also found carbon monoxide levels
that were 2.5 times higher in people who smoked from a water pipe during
a 24-hour period. Carbon monoxide can increase the risk for heart
attack, stroke and sudden death in people with heart or lung diseases.
Metabolites of the cancer causing industrial chemical, benzene, was
detected at far higher levels in the urine of water pipe smokers.
Benzene exposure is known to cause leukemia in people.
"People want to know if it is a lesser health risk if they switch
from cigarettes to smoking a water pipe on a daily basis," said Jacob.
"We found that water-pipe smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarette
smoking, nor is it likely to be an effective harm reduction strategy."
Jun. 26, 2013
There are more than 7,000 chemicals, including over 60 carcinogens that are known to cause cancer in tobacco smoke says the American Cancer Society (ACS). The tobacco leaves used in cigarette production contains radioactive materials that can build up in the lungs overtime and result in a high percentage of radiation in your body which can predispose a smoker to cancer.
To raise global awareness about the about the negative effects of tobacco use, World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), created by WHO in 1987, is observed every year on May 31. This year's theme, "Free Yourself", encourages people to "free" themselves from tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The cigarette industry spent $23 million every day in advertising and promotions in 2011 says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The amount of state spending on tobacco control is relatively small compared to the revenue states receive in tobacco taxes and legal settlements. This year, states are expected to collect $25.7 billion in tobacco revenue but will only spend 1.8 percent of that amount on smoking prevention and cessation programs.
Liquid Verification AEMSA was founded by two vaping advocate volunteers, Lou Ritter and Linc Williams, who have no financial ties to the industry and continue to receive no remuneration. It is an all-volunteer organization that represents American manufacturers of e-liquids whether they sell wholesale or retail, online or in brick and mortar stores. Some non-manufacturing participants, such as consumer advocates and subject matter experts may also join by invitation. “We were concerned about the lack of verifiable product content; there are many individual product Websites, but we didn’t see verifiable product content accuracy and ingredient quality disclosure/accuracy—what ingredients are in these products, the environments in which they are made and we wanted to inform the public about some of the scientific and medical research available,” said Ritter, who serves as president of AEMSA. “Not only that, but prior to AEMSA posting our standards, many consumers didn’t even know what questions to ask. The posted AEMSA Standards provide detailed information to any and all interested parties, including consumers and regulators,” Ritter explained. “Every consumable product has some sort of regulatory guidelines for consumer confidence and stewardship; we thought this one should too.” AEMSA considers the e-cigarette to be a “tobacco harm reduction smoking alternative.” Although the organization acknowledges that nicotine is, as Ritter described it, “an ingredient of concern that requires responsible handling,” it does not view the e-cigarette liquid as a tobacco product. “This is a new category of product,” he emphasized. On AEMSA’s Website (www.aemsa.org) is an extensive set of self-regulatory standards that has been developed “to create responsible and sustainable practices and process for the safe manufacturing of ‘e-liquids’ used in electronic cigarettes” and “to provide consumers with higher degrees of confidence that our members’ products are manufactured with professionalism, accuracy and safety.”