There is a general misconception about the health effects of hookah smoking. Hookah is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, although many people who smoke hookah believe it is.

According to the Center for Disease Control, hookah smoking carries similar risks to smoking cigarettes. Nicotine is delievered through smoking hookah, and the toxicity of smoking hookah may be the same or greater than cigarette smoke because of how frequent a person puffs on hookah.

In February 2007, the American Lung Association created a trend alert packet about hookah. However, their conclusion states that although data has been collected, there is not enough data to support a conclusion regarding hookah.

Following that packet in 2007 was a packet released in late 2011. The packet contained more researched information on hookah, but it re-stated what the Center for Disease Control stated. The packet also contained advice for policy implementation regarding hookah, and how hookah should be controlled throughout the states.

However, no clear research has been shown for how harmful hookah is. Considering that most hookahs are not smoked by a single person, the claim a person smoking hookah smokes 100-200 times more volume than a cigarette can be deemed false. While nicotine is present in hookah, tar and other carcinogens contained in cigarettes are not. While there is no advantage to smoking hookah, the social aspect and taste is what keeps many people continuing to use it. However, it is found to only be popular among college-aged students and has a high usage falloff as people grow older.

Click here for a video on hookah health effects from NBC Miami.
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