Shisha pipes

The truth about shisha: It’s no safer than cigarettes, say the experts

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What’s On answers the questions, is shisha bad for you? Is shisha worse than cigarettes for you? as experts in America reveal findings of shisha health risks.


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Shisha fans who insist their habit is less damaging than cigarettes are kidding themselves, researchers say.

Whiling away an evening with a mint-flavoured shisha is just as bad for your health as a pack of 10, according to experts, who say the suggestion that the water in the pipe filters out harmful smoke is a myth.

According to a new study of regular shisha users, carried out by the University of California, the water doesn’t filter the smoke – it merely cools it down.

The researchers behind the study say shisha users are exposed to the same cancer-causing compounds as their cigarette-smoking pals.

But some fans, including smoker of 10 years Leena Chmayse, are still unconvinced. She told 7Days: “People can smoke 10 cigarettes whenever and wherever, but it is not the same for shisha.”

As part of the study, 55 shisha smokers were asked to provide urine samples taken just before smoking, one from immediately after, and one from the following morning.

The samples revealed rocketing nicotine levels in the subjects immediately after smoking.

Nicotine increased 73-fold, the researchers said.

“If you’re not smoking cigarettes because you’re worried about tobacco-related diseases, you should also not be smoking water pipes,” Dr Thomas Eissenberg, from the Virginia Commonwealth University, told the newspaper.