If you’re like most people, you probably think of hookah as nothing more than a fun social activity. Also known as a waterpipe, hookah is a traditional smoking device that has been used for centuries in the Middle East and South Asia. Though often associated with nightclubs and cafes, hookah smoking is quite different from cigarettes or cigars. However, you should be aware of some risks associated with smoking hookah. Here are some of the side effects of hookah smoking.
Cancer is one of the most serious health effects of smoking hookah. Hookah smoking has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly lung cancer. The tobacco in hookah contains many of the same harmful chemicals as cigarettes, including tar and nicotine. These substances can damage your lungs and lead to cancer.
In addition to lung cancer, hookah smoking has also been linked to other types of cancer. These include throat, stomach, bladder, and pancreatic cancer. The risk of developing these cancers is increased when hookah smoking is combined with other risk factors, such as alcohol consumption and tobacco use. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s even more important to avoid smoking hookah.
Increase the Risk of Heart Disease
Waterpipe smoking delivers large amounts of nicotine that can narrow your arteries. Thus increasing the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Also, the charcoal used to heat the tobacco in a hookah releases carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas that can also increase your risk of heart disease.
Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
The tobacco in hookah contains high levels of sugar, which can lead to cavities. More so, the charcoal used to heat the tobacco releases toxins that can damage your gums. These toxins can cause inflammation and infection, which can lead to gum disease. Gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. Hookah smoking is also associated with other oral health problems, such as leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a condition that causes white patches to form on the inside of your cheek. These patches are caused by irritation from tobacco smoke and are a precancerous condition.
Hookah smoking is associated with a greater risk of respiratory illnesses. These include bronchitis, lung infections, and emphysema. The risk of these illnesses is increased when hookah smoking is combined with other risk factors, such as cigarette smoking. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s even more important to avoid smoking hookah.
Weakened Immune System
The chemicals in hookah smoke can damage the cells in your body that help fight off disease. This will make one more susceptible to illnesses and infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Smoking hookah has also been associated with fertility issues in both men and women. In men, smoking hookah can reduce sperm count and motility. In women, it can damage the eggs and make it more difficult to conceive. If you’re trying to get pregnant, avoid smoking hookah.
Miscarriages and Low Birth Weight
For pregnant women, hookah smoking has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriages and low birth weight. This is because the nicotine in tobacco smoke can reduce the blood flow to the placenta. This can cause the placenta to detach from the uterus, which can lead to a miscarriage. In addition, smoking hookah can restrict the growth of the fetus, resulting in low birth weight.
Nicotine is a neurotoxin that can damage the brain. Studies have shown that smoking hookah can lead to changes in the brain that are associated with memory problems and depression.
As you can see, there are many dangers of hookah. In case you’re considering taking up this habit, it’s crucial to be aware of these risks. If you do smoke hookah, it’s vital to take steps to protect your health. These include using a mouthpiece, avoiding sharing hookahs, and avoiding smoking when you’re pregnant.