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Old April 6th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Hookah Aficionado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Saxony, Germany
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Default How harmful is smoking hookah?

Hey guys and girls,
I just wanted to let you know about the newest study of the German PD Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Schulz of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment about the topic "Dangers and risks of smoking waterpipe". Some members of attended a lecture of him on 01/13/2009 at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg.
The lecture started with an introduction about the differences between a hookah and a **** for everybody, who dont know, what it is.
The main reason for this study was the growing number of hookah smokers worldwide (2008 in a poll, 12% of young people between 14 and 17 years said, they are smoking hookah regularly), otherwise there were many unanswered questions about the harmfulness of smoking hookah and there haven't been good studies before.

The main questions, scientists had:
- how does water filter the harmful substances?
- what's the consistency of the smoke?
- how harmful is passive smoking?
- are there any health effects?
- which harmful substances are there?

They compared a hookah with cigarettes:

Hookah: 5-20g ; Cigarette: 0.7-1.0g
Capacity (1 drag)?
Hookah: 300-500ml ; Cigarette: 35-60ml
Number of drags?
Hookah: 100-170 ; Cigarette: 8-12
Capacity (alltogether)?
Hookah: 85l ; Cigarette: 0.72l
Units / day?
Hookah: up to 10 ; Cigarette: up to 60

PD Dr. rer. nat. Schulz said, that there was a mistake in the older studies, which said "smoking hookah is 100 times more harmful, than smoking cigarettes!" - just because the capacity is 100 times bigger, it is not 100 times harmfuller.

The experiment setup:
- 10g imported tobacco (probably Nakhla Two Apples)
- Quicklight coals
- Capacity: 530ml in 2.6 seconds
- 1 drag in 20 seconds
- filter changed after 105 drags (because of the wetness the filter was clogged)
- alltogether: 171 drags

(experiment setup, left: fake lung, right: experimental hookah)

after the first test, there was a first result:
- 70% water vapor
- 2.8g condensate
- water doesnt have a good filter effect, because of the big bubbles (better filter effect with a diffusor)

Then PD Dr. rer. nat. Schulz told about the "biomonitoringstudy":
- 10 hookah smokers, 10 nonsmokers
- 5g tobacco (probably Nakhla Two Apples)
- same coals (ql)
- 1 waterpipe
- 1 layer of tinfoil (standard punch)
- 30 minutes sessions
- collecting 24 hours of urine
- blood tests before and after smoking

the collected urine and blood was tested for the following substances:
Cadmium, Lead, Chrome, Arsenic, Carbon monoxide, Carboxyhemoglobin, Nicotine, Cotinin, Benzol-Metabolite, PAK-Metabolite, Acrolein-Metabolite, Acrylamide-Metabolite, NNK-Metabolite
(hope everything is translated right ^^ there are some things i dont even know in German)

First results:
Smoking hookah is addictive and harmful! (because of the harmful substances like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein etc. and some heavy metals)

of all these substances, PD Dr. rer. nat. Schulz says, the carbon monoxide is the most harmful,because the hemoglobin of some subjects was clogged with up to 30% of carbon monoxide, so the brain gets up to 30% less oxigen.
They are not sure, if this can favor long-tail claims.

That's everything, they know yet, but they will do some more researches within the next months.

To sum up:
- the harmfulness of glycerine isn't cleared yet
- carbon monoxide and nicotine are the most harmful substances in the smoke
- 1 bowl with 5g of flavored tobacco, 1 layer of tinfoil and quicklight coals is ca. as harmful as 2 cigarettes!

i hope everything is understandable. It's really hard to translate such a scientific text.

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