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Published by Maularna   
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 18:21

Most of the people think hookah smoking as a safer alternative to other forms of smoking because the hookah smoke is filtered through water before it is inhaled. But recent studies have found that smoking from a hookah is just as dangerous as smoking a cigarette.

What contains in cigarrates and hookah that make them so dangerous? Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT while hookah contains more nicotine than cigarette smoking because of the massive volume of smoke, smokers inhale during hookah smoking. Hookah smoke has a higher level of heavy metals and carbon monoxide than cigarette smoke, because of the charcoal which is burned on top of the tobacco mixture.A cigarette may last for about 5 minutes, but a normal hookah session would last for 30 minutes. According to a study, a single hookah session may deliver 36 times the tar,1.7 times the nicotine, 8.3 times the carbon monoxide all produced by cigarette. 1 hour of hookah session can deliver 50 liters of smoke whereas cigarette delivers only 0.5 liters of smoke.Hookah users tend to inhale far more smoke than cigarette smokers. More smoke means higher levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other nasty chemicals. In a study published by the World Health Organization, they found that an average cigarette smoker took 8 to 12 puffs, and inhaled 0.5 to 0.6 liters of smoke over five to seven minutes.A hookah smoker may take anywhere from 20 to 200 puffs in one night, and each puff equals about one liter of smoke each. That means one hookah smoking session could equate to smoking 40 to 400 cigarettes. Smoking flavored tobacco from a hookah is not any healthier than smoking regular cigarettes, and could actually be worse since you're inhaling more smoke, nicotine, and other chemicals.[1]

In Islam smoking cigarettes is prohibited (haram) but there are no fatwa on hookah.But there are many instances where the Qur'an gives us general guidelines, and calls upon us to use our reason and intelligence, and seek guidance from Allah about what is right and wrong.Islamic scholars use their knowledge and judgment to make new legal rulings (fatwa).In more recent times, as the dangers of tobacco use have come to be proven beyond any doubt, scholars have become more unanimous in pronouncing tobacco use clearly haram (forbidden) to believers. They now use the strongest terms to condemn this habit. Here is a clear example:"In view of the harm caused by tobacco, growing, trading in and smoking of tobacco are judged to be haram (forbidden). The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said, 'Do not harm yourselves or others.' Furthermore, tobacco is unwholesome, and God says in the Qur'an that the Prophet, peace be upon him, 'enjoins upon them that which is good and pure, and forbids them that which is unwholesome'" (Verse 7:157) (Permanent Committee of Academic Research and Fatwa, Saudi Arabia).

People nowadays know smoking (either cigarattes or hookah) is bad for health and can cause cancer and heart diseases. What they may not know is that smoking causes many other diseases and illnesses. Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women. Smoking causes more than 40 diseases, illness and other effects.

One of the diseases is cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death due to smoking.Hardening of the arteries is a process that develops over years, when cholesterol and other fats deposit in the arteries, leaving them narrow, blocked or rigid. When the arteries narrow (atherosclerosis), blood clots are likely to form.Smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing process in your arteries: it starts earlier and blood clots are two to four times more likely.Cardiovasular disease can take many forms depending on which blood vessels are involved, and all of them are more common in people who smoke. Coronary thrombosis occurs when blood clot in the arteries supplying the heart, which can lead to a heart attack. Around 30%are caused by smoking. Cerebral thrombosis occurs when the vessel to the brain is blocked, which can lead to collapse, stroke and paralysis. Damage to the brain’s blood supply is also an important cause of dementia. If the kidney arteries are affected, then high blood pressure or kidney failure results. Blockage to the vascular supply to the legs may lead to gangrene and amputation. Smokers tend to develop coronary thrombosis 10 years earlier than non-smokers, and make up 9 out of 10 heart bypass patients.

emphysema.jpgNext major illness that can cause of death from smoking is Emphysema. Emphysema is a long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli (air sacs in the lung). In people with emphysema, the lung tissue involved in exchange of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) is impaired or destroyed. Emphysema is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD (pulmonary refers to the lungs). Emphysema is called an obstructive lung disease because airflow on exhalation is slowed or stopped because over-inflated alveoli do not exchange gases when a person breaths due to little or no movement of gases out of the alveoli. Normal lung tissue looks like a new sponge. Emphysematous lung looks like an old used sponge, with large holes and a dramatic loss of “springy-ness” or elasticity. When the lung is stretched during inflation (inhalation), the nature of the stretched tissue wants to relax to its resting state. In emphysema, this elastic function is impaired, resulting in air trapping in the lungs. Emphysema destroys this spongy tissue of the lung and also severely affects the small blood vessels (capillaries of the lung) and airways that run throughout the lung. Thus, not only is airflow affected but so is blood flow. This has dramatic impact on the ability for the lung not only to empty its air sacs called alveoli (pleural for alveolus) but also for blood to flow through the lungs to receive oxygen. [2]

Bronchitis is an acute inflammation of the air passages within the lungs. It occurs when the trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi (airways) within the lungs become inflamed because of infection or irritation. Bronchitis also can occur when a person inhales irritating fumes or dust. Chemical solvents and smoke, including tobacco smoke, have been linked to acute bronchitis.The thin mucous lining of these airways can become irritated and swollen. The cells that make up this lining may leak fluids in response to the inflammation. Coughing is a reflex that works to clear secrations from the lungs. Often discomfort of a severe cough leads a person to seek medical treatment. Both adults and children can get bronchitis. Symptoms are similar for both. Infants usually get bronchiolitis, which involves the smaller airways and causes symptoms similar to asthma. Asthmatic bronchitis occurs when asthma and bronchitis coexist. Asthma is an inflammatory airway condition that leads to tightening of the muscles around the airways and swelling, both of which cause the airways to narrow. In combination with the inflammation of the inner lining of the airways and mucus production this can lead to severe wheezing and shortness of breath. [3]

Tobacco smoke also a powerful trigger of asthma symptoms. Irritating substances settle in the moist lining of the airways when a person inhales tobacco smokes.In addition, tobacco smoke damages tiny hair-like structures in the airways called cilia. Normally, cilia sweep dust and mucus out of the airways. Tobacco smoke damages cilia so they are unable to work, allowing dust and mucus to accumulate in the airways.Smoke also causes the lungs to make more mucus than normal. As a result, even more mucus can build up in the airways, triggering an attack. Second-hand smoke is the combination of smoke from a burning cigar or cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker.Inhaling second-hand smoke, also called "passive smoke" or "environmental tobacco smoke," may be even more harmful than actually smoking. That's because the smoke that burns off the end of a cigar or cigarette contains more harmful substances (tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, and others) than the smoke inhaled by the smoker.Second-hand smoke is especially harmful to people who already have asthma. When a person with asthma is exposed to second-hand smoke, he or she is more likely to experience the wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath associated with asthma. Second-hand smoke harms children with asthma even more than adults.When a child is exposed to tobacco smoke, his lungs become irritated and produce more mucus than normal. Since children's airways are smaller, the side effects of second-hand smoke affect them faster and can also affect lung function in later life.Children of parents who smoke are also more likely to develop lung and sinus infections. These infections can make asthma symptoms worse and more difficult to control.

For women, smoking can cause premature aging of the skin. Smoking destroys the ability of the skin to renew itself effectively, thus accelerating the ageing process, a study has indicated.It has long been thought that smoking ages the skin prematurely and leads to the formation of more wrinkles.Now a team of researchers from Nagoya City University Medical School in Japan says it has discovered the reasons why smoke has such a damaging effect. They found that cells exposed to smoke produced far more of the enzyme responsible for breaking down ski. The researchers also found that smoke caused a drop in the production of fresh collagen by up to 40%.Lead researcher Dr Akimichi Morita said the combined effect is probably what causes premature skin ageing in smokers. He also said that less collagen means more wrinkle formation. His team found the effect was more pronounced when cells were exposed to more concentrated cigarette smoke.New Scientist magazine reports that the researchers tested the impact of cigarette smoke by pumping it through a saline solution and adding the resulting mixture to collagen-producing skin cells.They found that cells exposed to smoke produced far more MMP than normal skin cells.Smoking also cause osteoporosis. The study from Carolinas Medical Center, reported in the January/February 2001 Journal of American Academy of Orthopedics shows that smoking impairs muscle, bones and joints health. This means that smokers are at much higher risk of developing osteoporosis. The study was based on a literature review of previously reported scientific data on the relationship between smoking and musculo-skeletal disease. The paper presented in the journal "The Musculoskeletal Effects of Smoking" highlights this relationship in their findings.

Apart from that, smoking also reduced fertility. A new study shows smoking by women during early pregnancy reduces the number of germ cells in the embryo. Germ cells later develop into eggs or sperm, so this reduction has the potential to reduce the baby's future fertility.And men who smoke develop an imbalance in their levels of a protein, called protamine, that is vital to sperm fertility, another new study suggests.The findings fall in line with past studies on the effects of smoking and  secondhand smoke on fertility, researchers say. Research from the University of Buffalo in 2005 showed male smokers' sperm had a more difficult time binding to an egg than non-smokers' sperm. And research from the University of Rochester in 2008 showed that women who had been exposed to secondhand smoke as children or young adults were more likely to have trouble getting pregnant. Women smokers who use oral contraceptives risk serious consequences including increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. This risk increases with age and women over 35 who smoke should not use oral contraceptives. For pregnant women, Chemicals in tobacco are passed from pregnant mothers through the blood stream to the fetus. These toxic chemicals present serious risks to the unborn child, as well as the mother. According to "Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century," by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, "Smoking during pregnancy is associated with preterm delivery, low birthweight, premature rupture of membranes, placenta previa, miscarriage, and neonatal death. New borns whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have the same nicotine levels in their bloodstream's as adults who smoke, and they go through withdrawal during their first days of life."[4]

Hookah smokers can use their own mouthpiece while smoking the hookah communally. However, sometimes it so happens that they share the mouthpiece. Sharing of the single mouthpiece can spread diseases such as herpes, hepatitis, tuberculosis.[5]

Herpes is a virus that can spread from person to a person through skin-to-skin contact. It can appear on many different areas and is typically marked by an eruption of a cluster of blisters although some people show very mild or no symptom at all.Hepatitis is a condition defined by the inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting (healing on its own) or can progress to fibrosis (scarring) and cirrhosis (leading to loss of liver function).Hepatitis is can be caused by certain drugs, alcohol, toxins, autoimmune disorders or viral infections. A group of viruses known as the hepatitis viruses cause most cases of hepatitis worldwide. Viral hepatitis is a contagious disease. Viruses can be passed from person to person.If you are not 100 percent sure of the Hookah provider’s accuracy in cleanliness and sanitation of the Hookah apparatus, think twice before engaging in the Hookah activity. Trust and camaraderie to friends are just that, but the infection of Hepatitis they can give you is a very different matter.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease.In healthy people, infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis often causes no symptoms, since the person's immune system acts to “wall off” the bacteria. The symptoms of active TB of the lung are coughing, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics.A person can become infected with tuberculosis bacteria when he or she inhales minute particles of infected sputum from the air. The bacteria get into the air when someone who has a tuberculosis lung infection coughs, sneezes, shouts, or spits (which is common in some cultures). People who are nearby can then possibly breathe the bacteria into their lungs. You don't get TB by just touching the clothes or shaking the hands of someone who is infected. Tuberculosis is spread (transmitted) primarily from person to person by breathing infected air during close contact.There is a form of atypical tuberculosis, however, that is transmitted by drinking unpasteurized milk. Related bacteria, called Mycobacterium bovis, cause this form of TB. Previously, this type of bacteria was a major cause of TB in children, but it rarely causes TB now since most milk is pasteurized (undergoes a heating process that kills the bacteria).[6]

Hookah smoking is not a harmless form of smoking. It can be as dangerous as cigarettes. The long-term consequence of hookah smoking would be increased dependency. Some youngsters, who innocently try hookah as a safe means of smoking, can get addicted. They can further switch to cigarettes as they can be carried around easily. All this proves that hookah smoking cannot be dismissed as safe alternative. Hence, it always helps to stay away from a hookah.







Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 18:26

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