It’s no secret that tobacco consumption is the leading cause of oral cancer. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, smoking and chewing tobacco causes more than 5-million deaths a year. But now, a relatively new method of smoking tobacco is gaining popularity among young adults. It’s called water pipe smoking — and it’s erroneously thought to be less harmful than traditional cigarette smoking.
Hookah Bars Grow in Popularity
The tobacco used for water pipe smoking is known by various names including hookah. You may have even noticed the growth of hookah bars around Southern California and in other major cities. This type of water pipe smoking originated in India 400 years ago and is now its use is estimated to include 7-to-20% among college students in the United States. Flavorings and sweeteners are often added to produce flavors such as strawberry, cotton candy, and tutti-frutti in an attempt to attract young people to the habit.
Studies comparing water pipe smoking to cigarette smoking have found that the average hookah session lasts from 20-to-80 minutes compared to 5-to-7 minutes to smoke a cigarette. This means a hookah pipe smoker may inhale the equivalent of 100 cigarettes or more in one session! Not good!
Harmful Effects of Smoking Hookah
Recently, the America Dental Association( ADA) published an article concerning the oral health issues such as water pipe smoking and its association with squamous cell carcinoma, mainly of the esophagus, followed by carcinoma of the lip and oral mucosa. From previous studies, we also know that it increases health risks of lung cancer, pulmonary illness, bladder cancer and heart disease.
If you use any type of tobacco products, you owe it to yourself to cease. Please take advantage of the smoking and tobacco cessation resources available HERE by the American Dental Association.