Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smoking from Hookah Not a Harmless Alternative to Cigarettes

19.04.2013
Smoking tobacco through a hookah is a pastime gaining popularity among the college crowd, but many of them mistakenly believe that using the fragrant water pipe is less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

In a new study at UC San Francisco, researchers measuring chemicals in the blood and urine concluded that hookah smoke contains a different – but still harmful – mix of toxins. The findings are published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.



UCSF research chemist Peyton Jacob III, PhD, and UCSF tobacco researcher Neal Benowitz, MD, both based at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, say hookah use exposes smokers to higher levels of carbon monoxide, especially hazardous to those with heart or respiratory conditions, and to higher levels of benzene, long associated with leukemia risk.

“People want to know if it is a lesser health risk if they switch from cigarettes to smoking a water pipe on a daily basis,” Jacob said. “We found that water-pipe smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, nor is it likely to be an effective harm-reduction strategy.”

And compared to non-smokers, Benowitz said, “If you are smoking from a hookah daily, you are likely to be at increased risk for cancer.”

Smoking tobacco from a hookah is common in many Middle Eastern countries. In the United States, water pipe tobacco usage traditionally had been most popular among people of Middle Eastern ancestry.

However, a 2009 survey found that three in 10 university students had smoked tobacco from a water pipe on at least one occasion, with hookah use being disproportionately popular among white students, males, and fraternity and sorority members.

Toxins Unique to Hookah Smoking

The UCSF study included eight men and five women, all of whom had previous experience smoking cigarettes and using water pipes. Benowitz and Jacob had the volunteers smoke an average of three water pipe sessions or 11 cigarettes per day.

Levels of a benzene byproduct doubled in the urine of volunteers after using a hookah in comparison to after smoking cigarettes. Occupational exposure to benzene has been shown to increase the risk of developing leukemia.

Furthermore, the researchers measured carbon monoxide in the breath over 24 hours and found levels 2.5 higher after water pipe use in comparison to cigarette smoking.

The differences in the slew of toxins that ended up in the bodies of volunteers were due largely to the fact that the smokers were smoking two different materials, according to Benowitz. Hookah users are smoking more than just tobacco.

“You’re basically burning a charcoal briquette on top of the tobacco,” Benowitz said, “and most of what you’re smoking is a moist fruit preparation, which is mixed with the tobacco. It smells good and it tastes good.”

However, Jacob said, “In addition to delivering toxic substances from the charcoal and tobacco, the heat causes chemical reactions in the mixture which produce toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Some PAHs are highly carcinogenic and can cause lung cancer.”

Intake of nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco, was less with water pipe use. Among those not yet addicted, the most common pattern of hookah use in the United States – about once per week – is not likely to cause addiction, Benowitz said.

In general, exposures for various known toxins differed for the two modes of smoking, the researchers found.

Individuals vary in how their bodies metabolize and excrete toxic substances, so for a better comparison, the researchers had the same person smoke cigarettes and a water pipe on different days.

Additional authors of the UCSF study include former physiological nursing student Ahmad Abu Raddaha, PhD; research physician Delia Dempsey, MD; and staff research associates Chris Havel, Margaret Peng, and Lisa Yu. The research was funded by the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program and by the National Institutes of Health.

Jeffrey Norris | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>