Hookah Use Not Safer Than Other Tobacco Smoking
the MPR take:
Water pipes used for tobacco smoking (hookahs) are growing in popularity worldwide among young people and are perceived to be a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. Not so, says a new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, which is the first to connect hookah use in a naturalistic setting of hookah bars and carcinogen exposure. Fifty-five experienced hookah users were evaluated prior to and after smoking for the presence of nicotine, cotinine, the tobacco-specific nitrosamine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), and mercapturic acid metabolites of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in urine samples. On average, there was a 73-fold increase in nicotine, 4-fold increase in cotinine, 2-fold increase in NNAL, and 14–91% increase in VOC mercapturic acid metabolites following smoking using the hookahs. Moderate-to-high correlations between changes in tobacco-specific biomarkers (nicotine, cotinine, and NNAL) and several mercapturic acid metabolites of VOC were also detected.
People walk past water pipes near the beach in Alexandria during the first day of Eid, August 30, 2011. Laboratory tests have suggested risks from hookah, also known as water pipes. But the new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention is the first to link real-life hookah use to exposure to nicotine and other harmful chemicals, researchers said.
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