1 in 3 college students has smoked hookah
June 7th, 2012
03:01 PM ET

1 in 3 college students has smoked hookah

The problem, Dr. Brian Primack says, is that hookah smoking is a beautiful thing.

Polished brass, woven rugs and intricate carvings create a culturally-rich atmosphere where friends can relax and socialize.

Unfortunately, smoking hookah delivers the same chemical compounds as smoking a cigarette. In fact, one session (usually about 45 to 60 minutes) delivers approximately 100 times the smoke as a single cigarette, with 40 times the tar and 10 times the carbon monoxide.

A hookah is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, bowl and a hose. The flavored smoke is created with three ingredients – heated tobacco, molasses and fruit. The smoke passes through water and into the mouthpiece, allowing consumers to inhale more deeply than they would when inhaling the dry air of a cigarette.

Hookah bars have been popping up around the country for the last decade.

“We normally cater to 18 to 20-year-olds,” says Lance Freeman of The Egyptian Café & Hooka Bar in Indianapolis, Indiana. “We are a place to come to for people who can’t go to bars.”

Primack’s latest study, published in the June issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, finds that 1 in 3 current college students has smoked hookah at some point; more than 50% of those students were not cigarette smokers.

“In my opinion [hookah] is a lot better,” Freeman says. “There’s more flavor, it’s more mellow, it gives this tickle in your throat… it’s very relaxing.”

Primack was giving a lecture on the dangers of smoking at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine when a student interrupted him. “He said, ‘No offense, but nobody really smokes anymore – we all do this hookah thing instead.”

That moment launched Primack’s research into the hookah world. “It’s a very interesting public health puzzle. The same chemicals - in one form [are] reviled by many people, but the same people will go across the street and take it in this different format.”

Better education is needed, Primack says, to show the similarities between hookah smoking and cigarette smoking. In a previous study the researcher found 92% of videos on YouTube showed hookah in positive light, compared to just 24% of cigarette videos. And only 26% of hookah bars use the word “tobacco” at all on the first page of their websites.

Primack and his colleagues analyzed the survey responses of 105,012 students at 152 universities across the country for their most recent study. The population that participates in hookah smoking tends to be younger, male and white, but is found across all characteristics.

The researchers don’t know yet if hookah is addictive. Smokers inhale twice the amount of nicotine in one hookah session as they do with a single cigarette, but long-term studies need to be done to see if it interferes with their life in the same way.

soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. Dunlar

    Yes, they're smoking "tobacco".

    June 7, 2012 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • George65

      Surprise! Like people did not know it was bad for you!

      June 7, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • David

      " Smokers inhale twice the amount of nicotine in one hookah session as they do with a single cigarette"

      So a whole hour of hookah is equal to two cigs. And is done by most people MAX once a week.
      Personally I don't find it addictive. Maybe as much as caffiene in soda?
      I would be interested in some non-bias studies though. I'm curious to see how much the water dilutes it.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • demonfeed

      David, you got it wrong...

      "In fact, one session (usually about 45 to 60 minutes) delivers approximately 100 times the smoke as a single cigarette, with 40 times the tar and 10 times the carbon monoxide."

      I smoke one cig in around 10-15 minutes. I could smoke 3-5 in 45-60 minutes. The same period of time with a hookah, at my smoking rate, would mean you get 20-33 times the cig intake.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Demonfeed– David's quote was correct (as was yours). Read the last sentence.

      Yes, obviously hookah is not good for your lungs, but people do it MAYBE once on the weekends and probably only a few times a year, and then they get over it when they turn 21 and go to bars. Everyone needs to stop being so alarmist and focus on real dangers. Excessive alcohol use and driving under the influence are MUCH more dangerous for young people.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • GB

      How does the sentence "In fact, one session (usually about 45 to 60 minutes) delivers approximately 100 times the smoke as a single cigarette,with 40 times the tar and 10 times the carbon monoxide. " and "Smokers inhale twice the amount of nicotine in one hookah session as they do with a single cigarette" work out? Doesn't appear to square.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
  2. tblamer

    The difference is no one does a hookah pack a day and you don't walk around with a hookah in your pocket to pull out at all times. It's a social smoking that happens infrequently. More similar to the occasional cigar that to a cigarette addiction.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rebecca

      definitely agree with you

      June 7, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Chris Sparks

      Well, by the sound of it, they don't need to be smoking a 'pack' of hookah a day. If one hookah session is the eqiuvalent of 40 cigarettes, just a couple sessions a week will make you a 'pack a day' smoker. People so quick to type without thinking.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      I agree completely with your analogy because I do both and that's exactly how it is. People who smoke hookah usually do so once every few weeks or even months. Especially true if you are talking about in bars because its expensive.

      Now, the health consequences are debatable, but nobody is getting addicted, at least.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      @Chris – if you did it once every 40 days, which is probably pretty common, you would be the equivalent of a one cigarette a day smoker. Probably much less health consequences.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • Chris Sparks

      @asdf. Then those people aren't to be worried. But there are plenty of kids, especially in college, that are now having frat 'meetings', other social group meetings at these Hookah Bars. I just finished my M.S. at the University of Cincinnati, and in my 2 years, more than 4 hookah bars popped up. I'm not saying everyone is using them all the time, but lots of kids are going more than once a month, or even once a week.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      @Chris – ok, admittedly, going once a week is probably pretty bad for you, haha.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • CosmicC

      @asdf – Health impact is debatable in the same way as global warming. Be honest, say that you're willing to accept the health impact. Here's the problem, similar to global warming – the impact is not limited to just you. If you get cancer in 30 years we (society at large) pay for it in many ways.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
    • arppix

      Yes, that sounds right – My 23 y.o. daughter likes to go a hookah bar with friends about once every 2-4 weeks or so and far less when she is in school. I don't think that occasional use like that is going to cause a health problem.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      Well, its your health. I don't think it's a moral issue as much as a... "this could increase your cancer risk" issue. I don't think reasonable people are going to be against hookah smoking in a lounge but they might be opposed to people spreading the idea that its harmless.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
  3. CT Scans

    It is better than Cigaretts as long as the Hooka smoker does not also smoke cigaretts and only goes to Hooka bars on a casual basis. It is pretty hard to bust out a Hooka pipe every time you want to smoke a bowl, but very easy to pull out a pack of cigaretts at a moments notice. As for being addictive, I know a few individuals who carry their own Hooka pipe in their trunk, but they grew up in that culture, that is a different story.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charvel

      I guess you missed this part:

      "one session (usually about 45 to 60 minutes) delivers approximately 100 times the smoke as a single cigarette, with 40 times the tar and 10 times the carbon monoxide."

      I don't know anyone that can smoke 100 cigarettes in 1 hour. That's one in about every 40 seconds.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
  4. dragon8me

    Why didn't the article say that the tobbaco is washed several times to remove most of the nicotine?

    June 7, 2012 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fn0rdz

      Because it's not? That's a myth.

      June 7, 2012 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      According to the US Gov't – a Marlboro ULTRALIGHT has the exact same negative effect as a Camel UNFILTERED.
      So can you trust anyone who thinks that the ultralight isn't safer? Have they ever had the two? Let's get real. If they lie about something so easy for people to understand is false, what won't they lie about?
      We need real, honest info on all drugs. A good place to start would be with tobacco. The skeptical part of me says: if they are lying about these things, it is to get you not to use them. The other part of that is if you knew the actual truth, you would be more inclided to use them.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas


      June 7, 2012 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
    • Jason K

      Really? I did not know that! I've heards that some people use something called salvia instead of tobacco.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      So why do you think the government is against cigarette smoking if it isn't damaging? That just strikes me as random.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Said so – The reason is it isn't as damaging as they would like you to think it is. (still bad for you, but less bad?)
      You have to admit they are cold busted on lying about an ultralight being no safer than an unfiltered.
      So why would they lie? You tell me.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
  5. CT Scans

    Damn, tblamer, you just beat me to it!

    June 7, 2012 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Damon

    Another case of using the integrity of science to generalize a varied experience. If you've used one, you would understand how it couldn't possibly be worse. One thing going for it is that hookahs aren't exactly portable, so it is harder to get that "every 15 minute fix" you can get with cancer sticks. People go smoke hookah, and leave it at the bar, how tobacco should be used, at communal gatherings. For the record I'm an ex-cancer stick smoker who has enjoyed hookahs on rare occasions.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saidso

      Then you'd be useless to participate in a research experiment. 😛

      June 7, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
  7. JRizz

    I totally understand the argument of the harm that can be found in the Hookah. However, I think the difference between cigarettes and Hookah is the frequency. I don't know many people that smoke the Hookah multiple times a day, multiple times a week. At most, maybe once or twice a week, MAX. Also...I have not seen anyone addicted to it either. As the article states, its more of a relaxing break, commonly shared with friends. That's just my 2cents

    June 7, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris Sparks

      Do you have a special power that allows you to 'see' addiction? Someone may tell you they are gonig for the 'social gathering', but that doesn't mean they aren't addicted. Nictotine is an addictive drug. No more research is needed to tell you that. Hookah contains nicotine, nicotine is addictive, therefore hookah is addictive. I would suggest you take a course is logic and critical reasoning, or just read up on 'proofs'.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      @Chris – for someone who cares so much about the research, you certainly haven't read it.

      Research suggests that there is a threshhold level of nicotine and a required duration that the body must cross before feeling any addictive effects. So if you smoked one cigarette a day, you may never be addicted. Similarly, if you never smoke cigs, and then down 3 packs in one day, you aren't addicted to nicotine. You need high levels (a debatable amount) of prolonged exposure (a debatable time period).

      June 7, 2012 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • shutuphippie

      I have to agree with you there. Frequency is the key. I once told my doctor I smoke a cigar, a pipe, or a hookah about once a month. He shrugged and said, "That's not bad."

      June 7, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      This question isn't as much addiction as it is damaging. Are there long term effects to hookah smoking? You only need a bad sunburn once or twice in your life time to increase your odds of getting skin cancer. So what are the odds that hookah smoking even once or twice increases your risk for cancer? That is the question and the research that scientists are talking about doing.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Chris– calling casual hookah use (e.g., every few months) an "addiction" undermines those that actually have real life-changing addictions to dangerous substances. Nicotine in cigarettes is clearly addictive. But so is caffeine. Everything you consume is made from chemicals that affect your body in some way. There is no reason to freak out about hookahs, it's much better than the alternatives (heavy drinking, hard drugs, prescription drugs, etc). I had hookah a few times in high school/college, but haven't in years. People, especially parents, freak out about every little thing in this country. I think our bodies can handle a dumb hookah!

      June 7, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  8. Jh1289

    Just 24% of cigarette videos on YouTube showed smoking in a positive light? Apparently Mr. Primack hasn't found the smoking fetish videos on YouTube yet.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. gi

    "it gives this tickle in your throat.." yeah, its called throat cancer... this is stupid

    June 7, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Will

    Who cares?

    June 7, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. md22mdrx

    Yes ... hookah is bad for you. The thing is that people don't do it nearly as often .... less frequency leads to less addiction potential and less damage being done. Secondly, it's flavorful compared to the nasty ash smell that cigs produce. I'm not saying it's good for you .... but there's a reason people are flocking to it.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ermac

    Hookah bars are my new thing actually. I quit gambling and drinking and the whole sports bar scene. Instead, now, on some Saturdays me and my fiance go to a new Hookah Bar that just opened here. She drinks her wine, I smoke, pretty good discussions. The scene there seems a bit more... Professional maybe? Not a bunch of people grabbing her goodies or some drunk person spilling their drink on us. I think everything in moderation. Don't go there every night of the week and smoke 8 bowls for God's sake. But 1 good bowl maybe twice a month? If you're taking care of everything else you should be health wise, what's the problem?

    June 7, 2012 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Burbank

      If I'm going to indulge in smoking tobacco I'd rather do it in a casino since you are already smoking second-hand anyway. Hookahs should be used for pot, not tobacco. If they would end all the insanity and just legalize it, you wouldn't need to put tobacco in it!

      June 7, 2012 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
  13. Dorkus

    Shoot them before they damage their health.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Varan

    I too shall echo the obvious. I smoke hookah 3-4 times a year. Cigarette smokers smoke several times per day. Of course, if you hookah every day, it's bad.

    Tomorrow's news – Smoking a cigar has tobacco. Even more than a single cigarette!

    June 7, 2012 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. JusDav

    I have NEVER used a hooka for smoking TOBACCO.

    NEVER!!! 🙂


    June 7, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. apostate

    tobacco?? put some weed/hash in that bad boy.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bertdeuce

      excellent suggestion.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
  17. MOWMOW

    This article is a joke.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Burbank

    Geesh! Gimme a break! That's because a hookah is supposed to be used for pot, not tobacco!

    With pot you do a couple of puffs on it and that's it. People don't smoke pot joint after joint like cigarettes, if they do, they are just wasting it. Pot is a self limiting herb and no matter how much you smoke it won't make you any higher after a certain point, which is usually achieved with anywhere from 2-6 hits depending on the type of pot and personal tolerance level.

    Smoking another hit or two after about 3 hours will extend the high, but anything more than that is just wasting it. A hookah cools the smoke for a more pleasant experience and enbales the person to get high with fewer hits.

    June 7, 2012 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bertdeuce

      Sorry bro, not really correct. Although one should use it for cannabis smoking, it was never intended as such.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
    • bertdeuce

      Also you are incorrect on the limiting factors of the 'high' Try ingesting over 50 very distinct varieties of cannabis during the course of an evening. You will continue to 'get higher' trust me on that...

      June 7, 2012 at 17:00 | Report abuse |
    • Real hookah

      that's absolutely not true, adding pot to hookah is an awful idea because the coal burns the MJ too quickly. Please refrain yourself from making such posts.... do some research or at the very least wiki hookah before stating your opinion...Yes some kids add pot to hookah but it just get ruined. Also everyone in the middle east smokes hookah and have hookahs in their homes and they do not smoke hash or MJ. I know this because I lived in Lebanon for 15 years.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  19. TobaccoBowler

    I anecdotally don't find it to be addictive at all, even smoking every day, and smoking hookah with law school buddies is one of the things that got me through law school. Even though the nicotine is a stimulant, it is somehow relaxing in hookah form, and I think it helps you study. Whether going to law school in the first place was a good idea is an entirely different discussion....

    June 7, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Burbank

      If you are smoking it every day I guarantee you are addicted, you are just in denial!

      June 7, 2012 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
  20. Ted

    It's mellow and it relaxes you. Yea buddy! Imagine the real thing! One day people will be free to own their own bodies and cognitive experiences.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Real hookah

    in the middle east the flavored hookah are for young adult while the "men smoke wet tobacco leaves which they don't sell here in the states. Anyways In Lebanon which borders near Israel there are countless of hookah shops where people smoke all day, people like my dad who smokes 3-4 bowls by himself, everyday. I'm just saying 1 or 2 hookahs a month is nothing....

    June 7, 2012 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saidso

      Well the question is, are they suffering from the effects years later? If you plan to jump off a building and people worry about your well being are you going to say, "that's nothing, some people jump off the Empire State building"?

      June 7, 2012 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
  22. ArtInChicago

    Went to my first hookah bar in Indianapolis 2 weeks ago. The didn't have a liquour license, but ate some really good Middle Eastern food, had a nice smoothie, then did banana split flavor in my hookah. Im kinda an old dog, but there was 20-somethings and 30-somethings just meeting up socially, probably before heading out for the evening. Very nice place and I enjoyed the experience.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Robert

    "No offense, but nobody really smokes anymore – we all do this hookah thing instead" Effin hipsters.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick P

      I was thinking the EXACT same thing man... haha

      June 7, 2012 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      True. It's the idea that they think it isn't smoking that's annoying. I'm sure it's a pleasant experience, but that doesn't mean that it can't harm your body. Most of the evidence points to potentially harmful. It's not a call to ban Hookah bars, it's just suggesting that people stop kidding themselves.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
  24. JP Morgan

    Why doesn't anybody mention that the Hookah was invented thousands of years before tobacco was discovered in the new world? It is NOT made for tobacco.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • asdf

      was it made for something other than pot and hash? or am I just being naive?

      June 7, 2012 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • bertdeuce

      Verify those facts, one must first know what to smoke before they can create a vehicle for its delivery.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  25. Mike

    uhh ohhh....

    June 7, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. interesting

    Yep and its LEGAL!
    But poor old pot is such a bad drug ...
    ...yet no one has died from using it... ever!

    June 7, 2012 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saidso

      I don't think you can prove that someone who smoked pot never did any damage to their lungs and wasn't effected years down the road. I'm not calling to ban pot, but spreading the idea that it's all "completely harmless" is irresponsible. Everything we do carries known and unknown risks and people should think about the risks they're taking instead of taking offense to the suggestion that it may not be the best idea.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
  27. mike

    We can send them off to die on some god-forsaken rock, but for some reason they can't smoke a hookah.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Chris

    Most people that I know who have smoked hookahs (including myself), regardless of whether they smoke cigarettes or not do not inhale the hookah smoke. It is similar to the way that a cigar is smoked. Still not good for you, but it is unfair to compare it to cigarettes in that light.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RPIEngineer

      Who are you smoking hookah with? haha, your doing it all wrong, the whole point is to inhale it, otherwise its almost impossible to get the full flavor of it, and if you have mint or any of it's derivative flavors you are missing out on the cooling menthal like sensation.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:46 | Report abuse |
  29. asdf

    I know something with ZERO tar or nicotine that doesn't cause lung cancer at all...oh wait you can't have it because brown people liked it in the 20s.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CosmicC

      ...and commies, too.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
  30. Brad

    Forget the smoke risk, worry instead about getting diseases from the tube that they never clean!

    June 7, 2012 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BD

      Disgusting as it sounds, the smoke and residue pretty much kill everything. It might be gross to think about but I can't imagine much microbial life surviving that enviroment. There are of couse things that will but they tend to be more rare or exotic.

      You have a greater level of risk of catching something using the cutlery in your office kitchen after its been freshly washed and put back in the drawer.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:46 | Report abuse |
  31. Valia

    the nicotine is drained out through the "water pipe"...technically you can get addicted to it as u can to anything but ive smoked hookah for long periods of time then stopped for long periods of time its really a matter of just something to do while out with friends..these days its either a bar or a restaurant and hookah lounges are a more relaxed/chill place to go

    June 7, 2012 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. asdf

    "In fact, one session (usually about 45 to 60 minutes) delivers approximately 100 times the smoke as a single cigarette, with 40 times the tar and 10 times the carbon monoxide."

    Wait a second....who smokes hookah for a whole HOUR???

    Even assuming that's true, and assuming that its the tar that has all the bad stuff in it, let's do some math:
    One "session" of hookah: 40 cigarettes
    One pack of cigs: 20 cigarettes.
    Avg. cigarettes per day, per smoker: 10-20

    So to be on par with the abuse of cigarettes, you would need to hookah once every 2-4 days. What 18-20 yr old can afford that??

    June 7, 2012 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RPIEngineer

      one high qality hookah ~$100
      one 250g tin of sheesh ~$10 (I smoke 1-3 bowls between 5-6 people a day and it lasts about 2-3 weeks)
      100 coals-----–~$10
      one bic lighter----~$0.50

      initial start up is a little costly for a college student, but after that your talking $20 at the most a month between 5 people which is $4 individualy if you dont want to do the math. And thats if you habitually smoke around 3 bowls a day assuming you use 2-3 coals per bowl pack.

      June 7, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
  33. blam

    Hookahs are terrible for you! One loose coal and there goes your favorite sofa or deposit. Terribly tasty though and I wouldn't mind puffing on one though I haven't done it for a handful of years.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • asdf

      I was just thinking the same thing. I have an old one at home in a case that would probably like to see some action....THANKS CNN FOR ENCOURAGING MY DRUG USE!

      June 7, 2012 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
  34. HR

    Here's an idea, lets go to a country that has existed for thousands of years, where Hookah smoking is intertwined with religious/social cultural norms and go see what their lung cancer/whatever cancer rates are before we all go pulling out the latest Panic button. I think we can all agree that smoking anything is "probably bad for you". I'm not sure I need to fund a team of displaced scientists or "professional lecturers" to go and spread the obvious. Yes, smoking is bad for you, any kind of smoking. Will it kill you? Only if you don't die from something else first. Will it increase your risk of "insert bad thing here"....possibly, so if you're afraid, don't do it. Otherwise, leave it alone.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saidso

      The problem we've found in researching other countries is that they may be experiencing other issues that can cause health problems that aren't in the US. Conversely, in small populations, they could be more genetically alike than in the US and may actually be more resistant to disease naturally.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
  35. Baa Weet

    'Unfortunately, smoking hookah delivers the same chemical compounds as smoking a cigarette. In fact, one session (usually about 45 to 60 minutes) delivers approximately 100 times the smoke as a single cigarette, with 40 times the tar and 10 times the carbon monoxide.' About 1/3 of what you're exposed to crossing the street. The big difference is we smoke 20 butts a day,and they do it once or twice a month.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saidso

      It's probably not as bad as cigarette smoking but that doesn't prove that it can't hurt your body.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
  36. The Original Me

    Here is the thing, you can't carry a hookah in your purse or pocket, therefore you can smoke while driving, after lunch or on your breaks along the work day, so you smoke less. Let's say you go out to a hookah bar ones a month and smoke for 20 to 40 min. that can't be as harmful as smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, no?

    June 7, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TSimon

      That's like saying if you only do heroin on the weekends it can't be as a bad as a daily user.
      If you smoke...you increase your risk of cancer. Period. Maybe the risk is lower...but the risk is still there.
      Just admit it and move along. Damn....why do people have to rationalize bad behavior.
      We all have them. Just be adult enough to own it.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
  37. pbernasc

    yeah .. stupidity will never go away ... despite all the knowledge and information about the effect of smoking, social frustration and ignorance is still so pervasive that each generation has its layer of dumb people who think they are indestructible until they get cancer and die like pigs

    June 7, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bertdeuce

      what to you mean die like pigs? You mean at a factory farm or what...

      June 7, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • pbersnac's dad

      Excellent idea! Smoke hookah and die like pigs. Therefore, smoke hickory chips in hookah, die like pig, we can all have bacon!

      Yay, bacon!

      June 8, 2012 at 03:53 | Report abuse |
  38. RPIEngineer

    Also the 100 times the smoke as a cigarette?...thats assuming you smoke the whole darn bowl straight to your dome..... Hookha is a social event in which i usually participate in with at least 4 or 5 people, and sometimes with as many as 10

    June 7, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bertdeuce

      If you use the word 'dome' to descibe your head, your not putting tobacco in that hooka...

      June 7, 2012 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
  39. momo0828

    This sounds like a push to get additional grant money to study the effects of hookah smoking to me; nothing more. And in the end the study will prove nothing. But a grant of money for ten or more years will insure that those researchers who have nothing better to do than waste taxpayer money to research something that folks in a different country have been doing for decades, will give them a secure means of employment until they retire. I can't say that I hate them because I would probably do the same thing too.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. nbdrews

    They should have completed their research before releasing half an article. Smoking hookah isn't going to be "good" for you, but this makes it sound like a revolver to your head... "100x as much smoke". Hookah is very different, for some reason, and it's these scientists' jobs to find out that difference rather than stir up some fear mongering with half evidence.

    If I smoke a couple cigarettes, I'm buzzing from the nicotine (not being a smoker). However, I've spent an hour smoking a hookah on a couple different occasions and didn't have nearly the same feeling. Clearly something different is taking place.

    Also, Hookah bars in the Middle East have old men that come every night and smoke for an hour or two. If it was really 100x worse than smoking, you'd be seeing some pretty strong evidence through death rates. The streets of Cairo would be lined with the dead.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Suprised

    Love my hookahs. Have a four hose (for company) and a single. Usually use it once/ week. Is it tobacco? Sure. Is it good for you? Probably not. But life is going to kill you 100% of the time. Lighten up.

    June 7, 2012 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Josh

    Wow, I'm amazed how behind-the-times this article seems. Hookah has been on college campuses forever. Heck with bars, most college kids either own one or one of their room-mates does. You can buy coals and hookah tobacco at most convenient stores. Only an idiot wouldn't know that it's tobacco. Other than weed, what else would it be? Tobacco or not, it's pretty basic common sense that burning something and breathing in the smoke is probably bad for you. I love smoking hookah though; did it 2-3 times a week in college.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. kgt

    Hookha is just a fancy name for bong. Try filling the bowl with a little weed.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Meh

    They have tobacco free Shisha (the stuff you put in hookahs to give them flavour). What does it say about that?

    June 7, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. The Dude

    So, smoking is BAD for you? Sucking smoke and particles into your lungs DAMAGES them?

    CNN, you should run an article about how you can drown in water.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. former smoker

    Obviously you didn't read right. One hookah session contains 40 TIMES THE TAR CONTENT AS ONE CIGARETTE and 10 TIMES THE CARBON MINOXIDE CONTENT, and only twice as much nicotine. so, HOOKAH SMOKE IS JUST AS BAD AS SMOKING CIGARETTES. why do people only understand what they want to understand instead of the facts?
    here's a breakdown:
    1 hookah session = 40 cigarettes (in terms of tar)
    1 hookah session = 10 Cigarettes (in terms of carbon Minoxide)
    1 hookah session = 2 cigarettes (in terms of Nicotine)

    Smokers inhale twice the amount of nicotine in one hookah session as they do with a single cigarette"

    So a whole hour of hookah is equal to two cigs. And is done by most people MAX once a week.
    Personally I don't find it addictive. Maybe as much as caffiene in soda?
    I would be interested in some non-bias studies though. I'm curious to see how much the water dilutes it

    June 7, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. ilovecollege

    My friends and I smoked Hookah probably twice a week my senior year of college. I don't think any of us have done it since. I know personally, I have never craved it, so I really do not think that it has the same addictive qualities as cigarettes.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. VB

    Over dramatic! I am a college student. I smoked hookah. The difference is if you smoke hookah you do it socially. So at the most, most people will only smoke it like 4 times a month. Smoking hookah is for fun. It is not an addiction.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Hot Carl

    Ha ha ha, get cancer and die 10X faster, LOL! If they're going to die, let them do so quickly and decrease the surplus population!

    June 7, 2012 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. SillyBean

    Well lets just run a bunch of animal trials and torture our furry friends to MAKE sure we know for SURE it's unhealthy, then we can tax it to death, then maybe make it illegal and start ticketing then jailing violators, then we'll have a bunch of 20-30 year olds who can't get jobs b/c of their Hookah felonies, a bunch of CNN articles and animal welfare protets b/c of the animal trials, congress can debate it forever and do nothing (why break from tradition), at the end of the day I'll bet we could spend billions of dollars on this via regulation, reasearch, control, prohibition, laws, procedures, court cases... It's the AMERICAN way! OR, we could just allow people to smoke and drink as they please like they live in a free country?

    June 7, 2012 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • us_1776


      Whatever happened to Land of the Free?


      June 7, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
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