Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shisha 'as harmful as cigarettes'

Smoking a shisha pipe is as bad for people as smoking tobacco, the Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre has found.
People who smoke shisha, or herbal tobacco, can suffer from high carbon monoxide levels, its research revealed.
It found one session of smoking shisha resulted in carbon monoxide levels at least four to five times higher than the amount produced by one cigarette.
High levels of carbon monoxide can lead to brain damage and unconsciousness.
Shisha is a water-pipe, popular in many Arab countries, in which fruit-scented tobacco is burnt using coal, passed through an ornate water vessel and inhaled through a hose.
The Department of Health said it was difficult to know exactly how much carbon monoxide one cigarette produced, due to the differences in smokers' inhalations.
Normal level: 3 ppm
Light smoker: 10-20 ppm
Heavy smoker 30-40 ppm
Faulty boiler/fire levels: Upwards of 100 ppm
Severe symptoms: 100 ppm
Lethal levels: More than 300 ppm
But measuring carbon monoxide in exhaled breath showed a normal non-smoker's level to be three parts CO per million parts of air (ppm) (less than 1% of blood not working properly), a light smoker to have 10-20 ppm (2-4% of blood not working properly), and a heavy smoker 30-40 ppm (5-7%).
The study found shisha smokers had 40-70 ppm of CO in their breath - affecting 8-12% of their blood.
Dr Hilary Wareing, director of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre, told the BBC's Asian Network she was shocked by the results of the research.
"Our mouths opened at the level of harm - none of the tests we did showed anything other than shisha is hazardous to health."
Paul Hooper, regional manager at the Department of Health, said the findings made the dangers of shisha a "major issue".
He said many people regard shisha "as not even smoking".

1 comment:

  1. According to an Arab expert who has pubished a detailed critique of the WHO report made by US experts (Eissenberg, Maziak and Shihadeh), “Hookah smoking is neither “haram” (illicit) nor “halal” (licit). Its use was not reported by the times of the Revelation. However scholars, by contrast with present antismoking researchers, have been tolerant over centuries”
    And he concludes that what is haram is bad science and false results. He notes the hadith of our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that we must seek science from the cradle to the grave. I think this is a good point that we must seek good science and reject bad science.