Smoking Waterpipe Damages Lung Airways
Data published in a study in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care of Medicine states that hookah and waterpipe users have high lung function abnormalities. The smoke from these products leads to changes in the cells that line the airways.
Hookah is a large instrument that vaporizes flavored tobacco, which is then smoked by the user through a tube. Waterpipe is similar to hookah because it also involves flavored tobacco. However, waterpipe is smoked out of a bowl and the tobacco is burned by charcoal. Waterpipe is not regulated.
Hookah and waterpipe can both cause lung damage due to the fact that there are many more chemicals in these products compared to normal cigarettes. Compared to just one single cigarette, waterpipe has 3 times the phenol, 7-11 times the carbon monoxide, 100 times the tar, 17 times the formaldehyde and 2-4 times the nicotine.
These high amounts of chemicals points to lung damage among users, which the study confirms. The study showed that the waterpipe users had physical effects from smoking, including coughing more and producing more sputum. They also found that the lung airway linings were damaged.