Hookah lovers, it’s time you bring some control over that hookah smoking habit of yours. Whether you’re doing it for just the sake of fun or you are actually addicted to it, the tobacco smoke from a hookah can increase your risk of stroke or heart attack.
According to a recent study, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, tobacco smoke from a hookah caused blood clots to form within an average of about 11 seconds, compared to an average of five minutes for clotting without exposure to hookah smoke.
It can cause the blood to function abnormally, which is in itself a serious concern. An even more surprising revelation was that the smoke emitted from one hookah tobacco smoking episode contains significantly more harmful chemicals compared to a single cigarette.
“Our findings provide new evidence that hookah smoking is as unhealthy – if not more so – than traditional cigarettes. Smoking a hookah, cigarettes, e-cigarettes or other forms of tobacco all increase your risk for heart disease and stroke,” said study researcher Fadi Khasawneh from University of Texas in the US.
In this study, the mice were exposed to hookah smoke from a smoking machine that mimicked real-life smoking habits. The machine used 12 grams of commercially available, flavoured tobacco that included tobacco, glycerin, molasses and natural flavour with nicotine and tar.
Further for the analysis, the platelet activity was compared among the exposed versus the unexposed mice.
The study simulated the type of nicotine exposure that occurs with smoking a hookah, which the researchers verified by measuring the levels of cotinine, the nicotine metabolite.
In May 2019, the American Heart Association published a Scientific Statement, “Water Pipe (Hookah) Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Risk,” to analyse available research on the health effects of hookah smoking.
The statement noted that hookah smoking results in inhaling significant levels of toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide and particulates from tobacco that can harm blood vessels, the heart and lungs, as well as creating a dependence on nicotine.
This study provides additional evidence that, contrary to popular belief, hookah smoking adversely affects cardiovascular health.
“Hookah smoking, which is becoming more popular in Western countries, is perceived as less harmful than cigarettes, yet hookahs carry a toxic profile that is thought to be comparable or to even exceed that of traditional cigarettes,” Khasawneh added.