Can you get cancer from a hookah?

– Xochielt Sanchez

Answer by David Chan:

Yes. It's likely that the regular use of a hookah will lead to tobacco related cancers just like smoking cigarettes and possibly even more so.

According to a study published in the 2012 issue of CDC's Preventing Chronic Disease, many hookah smokers believe that smoking a hookah carries less risk of tobacco-related disease than cigarette smoking. However, hookah smoke contains many of the same harmful toxins as cigarette smoke and has been associated with lung cancer, respiratory illness, low birth weight, and periodontal disease.

According to areport from the World Health Organization (WHO)[PDF – 550KB]…, a hookah smoking session may expose the smoker to more smoke over a longer period of time than occurs when smoking a cigarette. Also, due to the method of smoking—including frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation, and length of the smoking session—hookah smokers may absorb higher concentrations of the same toxins found in cigarette smoke.

CDC Features – The Danger of Hookah

A study from UC San Francisco measured the effects of just one night of use. They found nicotine levels 70 times higher than normal and also a doubling of  levels of carcinogens. These levels have been found to be higher than in cigarette smokers.

The Dangers Of Just One Evening Of Hookah Smoking

Can you get cancer from a hookah?


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