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Report: Smokers of cigarettes and hookahs not sufficiently educated on health risks
09.26.2012Individuals who partake in smoking both cigarettes and hookahs, instead of using one or the other, compound their health risks, according to findings published in the Journal of American College Health. Indulging in both smoking devices increases one's chances of becoming addicted to nicotine, making it more difficult to quit smoking.
In the long-term, smoking tobacco can double or even triple one's odds of meeting with emergency department physicians after a heart attack episode. The same can be said of stroke. Consequently, smoking cessation initiatives are sometimes part of businesses' healthcare wellness program.
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) state that hookah use among the non-cigarette smoking, college-aged population has risen approximately 20 percent since 2006, even while fewer members of that demographic smoke cigarettes.
Only about 10 percent of cigarette smokers reported being regular hookah users to researchers, but the VCU analysts say those individuals indicated being more easily influenced by peer pressure and weren't as likely to consider cigarettes and hookah smoke habit-forming.
"We often assume that everyone, including college students, is knowledgeable about the health risks associated with tobacco smoking," said lead researcher Aashir Nasim, an expert in health disparities and a professor at the VCU college of Humanities and Sciences. "This simply isn't true, especially in relation to waterpipe tobacco smoking. Surprisingly, many hold the belief that waterpipe tobacco smoking is less harmful than cigarette smoking because the water filters out the 'bad stuff.'"
Hookahs don't make smoking safe
Just last month, research from the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, published in the journal Respirology, stated that participants in their survey who huffed on a hookah pipe had the same types of negative reactions - wheezing, tightness of chest and coughing - as cigarette smokers who were examined.
Furthermore, data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wildly contradicts the notion that hookahs are healthier than cigarettes. Apart from the risk of nicotine addiction, hookah smokers could be exposed to higher concentrations of chemicals than cigarette smokers due to deeper inhalations and extended periods of use. The agency also notes that hookah smokers are heightening their risk for developing numerous forms of cancer.
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