Hookah is a special vessel for smoking, in which a liquid plays the role of a filter, which moisturizes and cools the smoke inhaled by a person. Hookah smoking came to us from the East – it is an exotic, beautiful and mysterious ritual. Many coffee shops, bars, nightclubs and restaurants offer visitors this type of smoking, many people have a hookah at home. It is smoked during rest and to relieve stress.
Since hookah is very popular among young people and among lovers of a calm measured type of rest, there are many rumors and opinions about the dangers of hookah smoking. Many smokers generally consider hookah to be practically harmless device, however, this is not so. Consider whether this fashionable hobby is as harmless as its supporters claim.
Hookah smoking implies the use of tobacco smoke. Accordingly, nicotine, metals and resins are guaranteed to enter the human body after the session.
One of the most popular myths is the complete filtration of all these substances through the liquid in the flask of the device. Scientists have long proven that any liquid (water, milk, juice, alcohol) cannot retain some substances, and what still remains on the walls of the flask is an insignificant part of nicotine, and so on.
The harm depends on the component to which the organism or a particular organ is sensitive. Because of this, smoking abuse is not necessary for symptoms to appear. Hookah’s influence on the human body begins with the heart and blood vessels. Tar and nicotine compounds cause them to constrict, increasing blood pressure. For example, glycerin, it leads to circulatory problems and dehydration if overused. Preservatives become carcinogenic to humans and cause tumors to form. There is no benefit in the sugar by-product, molasses.
The harm from a hookah has a number of points:
When smoking a hookah, a person inhales a hundred times more smoke than when using a cigarette, because a hookah is often smoked for about an hour or longer.
To draw in the smoke from the hookah flask, a person has to take a strong breath, so the smoke immediately gets deep enough into the lungs. Nicotine from tobacco quickly enters the bloodstream, and, as you know, nicotine is a poison that causes serious addiction. Therefore, finding out whether a hookah is addictive, you can be sure – yes.
The smoke cools as it passes through the liquid, so it is easier for a person to inhale it, because the protective mechanisms do not prevent inhalation.
In addition to the harmful impurities contained in the smoke, a large amount of carbon monoxide emitted by smoldering coal gets into the body when smoking a hookah.
With frequent and prolonged inhalation of smoke, inexperienced beginners begin to experience severe headaches, because a large amount of nicotine toxins appear in the lungs, due to which the body suffers from stress, which invariably leads to uncomfortable sensations. Those who are not adapted to such a load are not ready at least physically to cope with such an “attack” from the outside. For example, if you take the risk of using this harmful device on an empty stomach, without even drinking a little water 2-3 hours before, then the person will definitely feel bad, suddenly nausea will appear, it will be cloudy and hot, and the skin will instantly be covered with sweat.
Hookah smoking leads to problems with kidneys, liver, cardiovascular system, and brain.
A heart. With frequent smoking, a person will rapidly increase the chances of developing chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system. Among the main ones are angina pectoris, impaired vascular tone, as well as ischemic heart disease.
Lungs. Long-term use of this addiction, a person runs the risk of developing chronic bronchitis. The constant inflammatory process that is present in the lungs in this case significantly reduces the immunity of the smoker, both local and general.
Vision. Hookah smoke can cause instant irritation of the mucous membrane of the eyes, in which case the organs of vision will turn red, the person will feel itching or dry eye syndrome.
Central nervous system. A sharp decrease in mental activity, physically a person also becomes lethargic, and with prolonged smoking, a mild degree of hypoxia occurs.
Nicotine addiction will not arise if you smoke hookah 6-8 times a month or less, since the content of this substance in hookah smoke is still much lower than in ordinary cigarettes. Experienced smokers know perfectly well that it is almost impossible to make up for the lack of nicotine with the help of a hookah, since the smoking process is very extended in time. In addition, hookah is rarely smoked alone, therefore, the harmful substances remaining in the smoke after filtration are shared by everyone.
Hookah addiction arises when a person smokes several hookahs a day. This type of addiction is even worse than the usual consumption of cigarettes – the smoker receives concentrated, small doses of nicotine for 5 minutes. In addition, there is a real addiction to hookah, but it does not affect human physiology and rather belongs to the field of psychology.
Psychological dependence lies in the subconscious attempt of the smoker to assert himself through the ritual for the “accomplished people”, and this is how hookah smoking is positioned by the entire hookah industry. Hookah bars and hookah bars are positioned as places of elite pastime. In the cinema, not yet as often as cigarettes, but still hookahs began to appear. Moreover, hookah in movies is usually smoked by successful and rich people of the East. Of course, they won’t tell you a word about the dangers of hookah. All this creates a kind of aura of success and freedom around the hookah smoker, in his own eyes.
From a physiological point of view, you need to fight the habit of smoking hookah in the same way as with another form of nicotine addiction. The hardest part in this matter is to survive the “nicotine withdrawal” that occurs when you quit nicotine. At this stage, special medications and support of loved ones help well. When the urge to smoke decreases, it is important to help the body cleanse itself of toxins and rebuild metabolism, taking into account the lack of nicotine in the blood.
To defeat psychological addiction, you need to get rid of the link between hookah smoking and positive emotions. The best way to do this is to direct your efforts towards finding new, safe sources of pleasure: sports, dancing, hobbies. One of the tricky issues faced by anyone trying to quit smoking is dealing with the environment. The company is far from always sympathetic to the desire to get rid of the bad habit, and if we talk about hookah smoking, then refusal from this can generally be regarded as an attempt to fight off the team. If the decision to quit smoking hookah is made deliberately, you should be patient and firm and not succumb to the persuasions of friends.
You need to get rid of hookah addiction in the same way as cigarette addiction. In this case, willpower, the desire to quit is very important. A person must independently come to this desire. But persuasion from relatives and friends will not help. Only a conscious desire will prompt a person to get rid of addiction.
A smoke inhalation session is rarely done alone. As a rule, smoking takes place in a friendly and cheerful company. The process is accompanied by sincere communication and high spirits. They are the ones that cause a positive association with smoking.
Therefore, those who want to get rid of this addiction will need to change their lifestyle and strictly observe the rules established for themselves. In this matter, it will be of great help to shift attention to any activity that in one way or another brings benefits and increases self-esteem. It can be playing sports, handicrafts, dancing. You can remember your long-forgotten desires and realize your childhood dreams.
Finally, it is worth refuting the myth about the usefulness of the hookah.
The benefits of hookah smoking are rather arbitrary. If we compare hookah with cigarettes, the former is certainly more useful. If we evaluate the impact on health in general, there can be no question of benefits. Indeed, the process of consuming nicotine becomes a little more pleasant, there are less toxic substances in the smoke, but hookah does not help to get rid of addiction.
The “benefit” of relaxation with a hookah is also questionable. There are many ways to relax, including those that do not harm your health. And to acquire several instead of one addiction is not the best option.