What you need to know about hookah smoking

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Hookah is becoming increasingly popular among young adults. (Getty Images)

NEW YORK (PIX11)–  Hookah smoking is rapidly gaining popularity among teenagers as a new social activity, but it may bring some health concerns parents should be aware of.

Originating from ancient Persia and India, hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke from specially made tobacco that comes in different flavors such as apple, cherry, chocolate, coconut, watermelon and much more.  They’re typically done in groups, with the same mouthpiece passed from person to person.

Health Effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Many users believe it is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but hookah smoking has many of the same health risks.  Also, because of the way it is used, smokers absorb more of the toxic substances also found in cigarette smoke than cigarette smokers do.
  • The charcoal used to heat the tobacco can produce high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Hookah tobacco and smoke contain several toxic agents known to cause lung, bladder and oral cancers.
  • Tobacco juices from hookahs irritate the mouth and increase the risk of developing oral cancers.
  • Hookah tobacco and smoke contain many toxic agents that can cause clogged arteries and heart disease.
  • Infections may be passed to other smokers by sharing a hookah.
  • Babies born to hookah smokers are also at increased risk for respiratory disease.
  • Secondhand smoke from hookahs can be a health risk for nonsmokers. It contains smoke from the tobaccos well as smoke form the heat source used in the hookah.
  • Others diseases hookah smokers may at risk of are– oral, lung stomach and esophagus cancers, reduced lung function and decreased fertility.

In addition to smoking hookah from a water pipe, users can also do it electronically via steam stones and hookah pens.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.