hookahSo it’s a Friday night, and you and your friends decide to go to the Hookah Bar for some harmless fun, right? Not so much. While hookahs (or shisha) have become more popular amongst young people, there are many misconceptions on the safety of hookahs.

Let’s clear up some of those myths about hookahs.

Myth # 1: Smoking hookah is healthier than smoking cigarettes.

False. Smoking hookah is actually worse for you than cigarettes. Hookahs contain the same harmful carcinogens (cancer causing agents) as cigarettes. Not to mention that 60 minutes with a hookah is the same as smoking 20 cigarettes or more!

Myth #2: You can’t get cancer from smoking hookah.

False. Similar to cigarettes, using a hookah can lead to various cancers, as well as lung and heart disease. Additionally, infections such as flu, meningitis, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and even herpes can be passed through the sharing of the mouthpiece.

Myth #3: Hookah is mostly fruit and less tobacco, so it’s kind of good for you.

False. The fruity flavors are just added to mask the tar and tobacco taste, and there is actually the same amount of toxins present. Also, these are simply flavorings, meaning they have no connection to the daily servings you should be taking in.

Myth #4: The water in the base of the pipe filters out harmful toxins.

False. If the water does filter anything out, it is not enough to reduce its harmful effects. It turns out that smoking tobacco through water-filtered smoke can cause just as many heart and lung problems as cigarettes.

Myth #5: Hookah smoke does not burn the lungs so it’s not unhealthy.

False. The smoke is cooled through the water in the base of the hookah. This makes it easier to inhale more of the smoke containing carcinogens and other toxins compared to that of a cigarette.

Not convinced or just want some more information? Check out this video!

Written by DeVonna Smith, Peer Educator