Hookah or cigarettes: what's worse?

What is harmful - a hookah or cigarettes?

Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes not only affects the growth of muscles, but also has serious comprehensive harm to health. However, many believe that hookah is a safe alternative to conventional cigarettes, because the water in the flask cleans the smoke from harmful impurities.

Unfortunately, in reality a hookah is much more harmful than a cigarette for a number of parameters. It is also important that the flavored tobacco makes the process of smoking more pleasant and prolongs the process. As a result, a 60-minute session of hookah smoking can be tantamount to smoking 100-200 conventional cigarettes( 1).

The main tips to learn how to breathe properly. Why is it important for the health of the body to breathe through the nose?

But is not natural tobacco better?

Despite the fact that hookah tobacco differs for the better from tobacco cigarettes, it is the nicotine content that is one of the main characteristics of quality. If this cigarette tobacco is thoroughly controlled and certified, then the requirements for tobacco for hookah are different.

Water filtration of smoke in the hookah has both a positive and a negative effect. On the one hand, water retards about 60-80% of nicotine and about 30-50% of resins and fine solids. On the other hand, the cooled smoke penetrates deeper into the lungs, causing more harm.

Content of nicotine in tobacco for shisha

The cigarette packs indicate not the physical content of nicotine in tobacco, but the amount that a smoker is likely to get when smoking. However, everything depends on the mechanics of smoking - squeezing cigarettes and fast puffs increase the temperature and increase the yield of nicotine.

The same applies to tobacco for hookah. The actual figures will depend solely on how you prepared the hookah, what coal was used, how much tobacco was smoked and how deep the smoke was being drawn. If you smoked indoors, this will significantly affect the numbers.

Hookah and Heavy Metal

Modern cigarettes have a mechanical, charcoal or other filter that detains a certain amount of harmful substances. Naturally, the water in the flask of the hookah can not fully perform the filter function - in fact, it only cools the hot smoke.

The content of heavy metals in hookah smoke can be tens of times higher than in cigarette smoke, and a lower temperature only exacerbates the negative effect on the respiratory tract. Coals for hookahs also make various harmful substances during decay - but no one tests them.

The danger of smoking a hookah for lungs

When smoking a hookah, people are drawn into its smoke deeper and more often - in an average session of 40-60 minutes, the body gets almost two hundred times more carbon monoxide than when smoking one cigarette( 2).With this smoke, as already mentioned in the article, it penetrates much deeper into the lungs.

Since the hookah is most often smoked indoors, which increases the harm from carbon monoxide due to passive smoking. It is important to understand that due to higher doses of harmful substances smoking hookah is much faster to lead to the development of various types of cancer and other diseases.

Hepatitis A and tuberculosis

One of the main problems with hookah smoking is that since the flask can not be rinsed completely, it can start to multiply pathogenic bacteria. Experts believe that hookahs are responsible for the increased number of tuberculosis and hepatitis A( 2).

Despite the fact that in the hookahs they give out a plastic nozzle on the mouthpiece, it is difficult to imagine that after each smoking session the flask is thoroughly disinfected with chlorine or alcohol-containing liquid and then dried. At best, the water will simply be replaced by fresh water.

How bad is a hookah? As a result, it can be said that the hookah can not be considered a safe alternative to cigarettes - for an average smoking session, the body gets hundreds of times more carbon monoxide, tens of times more nicotine and various carcinogens that cause cancer and other diseases.

The separate problem of hookah is that joint smoking can transmit a lot of diseases - from tuberculosis, herpes and hepatitis "A", ending with a common cold. Disease bacteria in this case can be stored in the flask, not just hours, but days and weeks.


Smoking hookah is much more harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes. The hookah smoker receives tens and hundreds of times more carbon monoxide, nicotine and various harmful substances( including products of coal smoldering).Joint smoking hookah is also the cause of the transmission of many diseases.

Scientific sources:

  1. Myth and Facts about Shisha, source
  2. Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: Health Effects, source