Although other cultures have used hookahs for generations, it has only been catching on with American teens over the past few years. Hookah shops have popped up everywhere along with the shisha and other accoutrements required for smoking the water pipes that are gaining in popularity.
New statistics have been revealed that one in five high school seniors have smoked a water pipe this past year. The statistics have also narrowed down that those imbibing in this are of higher socioeconomic status, are white males (most of whom already smoking cigarettes), drink alcohol, smoke marijuana or partake in other illicit substances.
It also helps to have access to the shops that sell Hookahs and supplies, therefore more kids from big cities smoke Hookah. Ordinarily, the families of the kids smoking are consistent of highly educated parents. The higher education usually yields a higher income which helps since not everyone owns a water pipe, therefore they frequent Hookah Bars in order to imbibe. (The full study is appearing online today in Pediatrics according to USA Today.)
At least cigarette smoking has declined amongst these young individuals since it is now deemed to be a habit of those of lower socioeconomic status and lower parental education, but is hookah smoking safe? According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, which revealed this other data, smoking a Hookah is not less harmful.
In fact, USA Today, has stipulated that ‘according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hookah smoking as “many of the same health risks” as cigarette smoking.’ There is a compilation of other research that has shown that although the shisha is available in fruit and candy flavors, it still contains tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. Many times the levels of these substances come in higher dosages than even cigarettes do.
The scarier part that parents should certainly pay attention to is that WHO (the World Health Organization) made a bulk statement in 2005 that revealed that Hookah smokers may inhale enough smoke in one session as a cigarette smoke may inhale after smoking 100 or more cigarettes. Parents must do the math. Will smoking Hookah hurt their child more than if they chose to smoke a cigarette? Long-term effects were not discussed; not showing if the study actually focused on this – or if there was enough data to collect since this is a more recent habit of teens in the U.S.
There is always something for a parent to beware of. It is a wonder that any child grows to be an adult according to most studies. What is good for us one day is horrible the next. Perhaps the wait and see approach is not sufficient, but then what is?