Is Smoking Hookah/Shisha Really Worse Than Cigarettes?


Smoking shisha has become a trend among the youth today. Many young adults gather in shisha cafes and share the pipe between friends. They see smoking shisha as a pleasant and relaxing experience. Approximately 44% of them believe shisha is not as harmful as cigarettes.  However research has shown that smoking shisha is worse than smoking regular cigarettes.

Why do young people think smoking shisha is safer?

Many people wrongly believe that bubbling tobacco smoke through water makes it safe. This misconception originated in the 15th century when a physician called Hakim Abu Faith wanted to make smoking shisha safer. He believed that if the tobacco smoke passed through a filter it would be safer, so he devised a small receptacle of water that smoke could pass through. However, modern research states that filtering tobacco smoke through cold water does not make it safer.

Disadvantages of Shisha

Shisha smokers  inhale more smoke than cigarette smokers because an average shisha session lasts longer. One session can last up to an hour,causing smokers to large amount of tobacco smoke as well as the second-hand smoke. The World Health Organization reported that the smoke inhaled in a typical one-hour hookah session can equal 100 cigarettes or more.

Shisha contains:

  • 36 times more carcinogenic tar than cigarette smoke
  •  15 times more carbon monoxide
  • higher levels of lead, nickel and arsenic
  • hydrogen cyanide and a whole bunch of potent carcinogens
  • nicotine, a chemical that causes an addictive effect

If the shisha pipe is not properly cleaned, sharing it with others can increase the risk of contracting diseases, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, meningitis and other infectious diseases.