Hookah Causes Way More Than Cancer!

June 1, 2007

Hookah (a.k.a. sheesha, waterpipe, nargila, argeela) has become very popular amongst college students nowadays.  Nevertheless, very little of the harms are known to its users.  It is often quite misunderstood as being harmless and not-addicting.  However, scientific research has proven otherwise as it is clearly established that hookah causes cancer and is, in fact, more harmful to one’s health than cigarettes.  Just this week, the WHO (World Health Organization) published a seven-page report claiming that hookah is just as hazardous to one’s health if not more hazardous than smoking cigarettes.

Hookah, in fact, actually does contain nicotine and one sitting of hookah is more hazardous to one’s cardiovascular system than cigarettes.  Cardiovascular disease is a serious threat to hookah smokers.  The carbon monoxide (CO) intake is also at a dangerous level when smoking hookah as it holds negative effects for those even exposed to second-hand smoke.  Second-hand smoke of hookah contains nicotine (which has shown to show addiction even through second-hand smoke), TAR, and even worse, heavy metals such as cobalt, arsenic, and lead!  These metals destroy a person’s body!  These findings were published in a scientific journal that was peer-reviewed and can be found on PubMed!

Hookah has shown to cause serious diseases.  Accepted scientific studies show that hookah causes an increase in the frequency of chromosomal abberations and sister chromatids.  This implies that the chance of our children having mutations is increased many-fold.  This is true for the man as well as the woman since a child receives twenty-three chromosomes from each parent. Therefore, this one fact alone should scare us from even being exposed to second-hand smoke of hookah and risking the health of our children!

In rats, hookah has shown an increase in hyperkeratosis and degeneration.  Moreover, a study in the Journal of Periodontology found that gum disease is five times more likely to occur with hookah smokers.  Other scientifically accepted journals have shown than hookah is linked with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, decreased pulmonary function, various other cardiovascular diseases, TUBERCULOSIS, eczema, aspergillosis (through contamination), and postextraction alveolitis (of the teeth).

On top of all the above, hookah also causes cancer!  In a recent study, eighty-eight percent of those people with cancer in India were at one-time hookah smokers.  The risk for lung cancer is significantly increased with hookah.  A study in Pediatrics concluded that hookah is at-least the same, if not worse for one’s health, cancer-wise, than cigarettes.  Professor Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth University concluded through his studies on hookah that “every risk of cigarette smoking is also associated with water pipes (hookah).” 

Therefore, let us stay away from hookah.  There are no benefits from it whatsoever.  Let us stay away from it for the sake of our children and our health.  May Allah (SWT) guide us all.  Ameen.


41 Responses to “Hookah Causes Way More Than Cancer!”

  1. samreen Says:

    hey i really liked watever s written here regarding hookah….i was going 2 try it under friends influence but now dat i kno its consequences i will avoid it….thanx

  2. sayid Says:

    thanx alot for the infor about hooka mashallah.. im really a hooka addicted and i have difficulty on breathing im pretty sure its the hook. is there anyway i can avoid it cause basically all my friends smoke it.salam

  3. hussein Says:

    jazak ALAH khare for these valuable information

  4. Burraq Says:

    This is all great but you have not cited any links to where all this came from. We have all heard this in the past that it is bad for your health and even worse than cigarettes but there hasn;t been any concrete evidence to support it.
    I would like to see some details as to where this came from and proof around these studies.
    Several of my friends smoke sheesha and I myself have tried it several times.
    Big B

  5. Ramijul Says:

    thanks a lot for all this info. i really love hookah but now that i know how much harm it does i will stop to my best
    thank you again

  6. Ramijul Says:

    many Allah guide us to right path

  7. Bobby Says:

    You really need to cite your sources, because some of your information is misleading, or outright incorrect. Here is the abstract of an official study conducted on hookah smoking

    Hookah smoking and cancer: carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels in exclusive/ever hookah smokers


    We have recently published some work on CEA levels in hookah (also called narghile, shisha elsewhere) and cigarette smokers. Hookah smokers had higher levels of CEA than non-smokers although mean levels were low compared to cigarette smokers. However some of them were also users of other tobacco products (cigarettes, bidis, etc.).

    To find serum CEA levels in ever/exclusive hookah smokers, i.e. those who smoked only hookah (no cigarettes, bidis, etc.), prepared between 1 and 4 times a day with a quantity of up to 120 g of a tobacco-molasses mixture each (i.e. the tobacco weight equivalent of up to 60 cigarettes of 1 g each) and consumed in 1 to 8 sessions.

    Enhanced chemiluminescent immunometric technique was applied to measure CEA levels in serum samples from 59 exclusive male smokers with age ranging from 20–80 years (mean = 58.8 ± 14.7 years) and 8–65 years of smoking (mean = 37.7 ± 16.8). 36 non-smokers served as controls. Subjects were divided into 3 groups according to the number of preparations; the number of sessions and the total daily smoking time: Light (1; 1; ≤ 20 minutes); Medium (1–3; 1–3; >20 min to ≤ 2 hrs) and Heavy smokers (2–4; 3–8; >2 hrs to ≤ 6 hrs). Because of the nature of distribution of CEA levels among our individuals, Wilcoxon’s rank sum two-sample test was applied to compare the variables.

    The overall CEA levels in exclusive hookah smokers (mean: 3.58 ± 2.61 ng/ml; n = 59) were not significantly different (p ≤ 0.0937) from the levels in non-smokers (2.35 ± 0.71 ng/ml). Mean levels in light, medium and heavy smokers were: 1.06 ± 0.492 ng/ml (n = 5); 2.52 ± 1.15 ng/ml (n = 28) and 5.11 ± 3.08 ng/ml (n = 26) respectively. The levels in medium smokers and non-smokers were also not significantly different (p ≤ 0.9138). In heavy smokers, the CEA levels were significantly higher than in non-smokers (p ≤ 0.0001567).

    Overall CEA levels in exclusive hookah smokers were low compared to cigarette smokers. However, heavy hookah smoking substantially raises CEA levels. Low-nitrosamines smokeless tobacco of the SNUS Swedish type could be envisaged as an alternative to smoking for this category of users and also, in a broad harm reduction perspective, to the prevalent low-quality moist snuff called naswar.

    • Donovan H. Says:

      Yea thanx man you can tell that this whole thing is completely bias its terrible info and if anyone only looks at this “write-up” about hooka his/her view will be completely disdain towards it.. Do your research people and know that everything you read on the internet (especially when it has no sources) isnt always true..

  8. pat Says:

    hey yeah about this…, Iv read up on side effects of hooka, doctors havnt rlly researched much on this. A definite answer would be great. Sources and research proof would also go great with your statement. I am rather confused tho, is it good for you? Is it bad for you? or does it not do anything to you but relax you?? and does it cause cancer? research provided would be great. And this guy who made this page, where are your sources, are you just restating cigarette/tobacco smoking effects. thanks

  9. Hi Pat,

    You can find/search the evidence-based research data available at http://www.pubmed.com, an authentic scientific research database.


  10. Kyle Says:

    Thanks for the information!! 😀

  11. I don’t agree what you are saying.Some flavors of tobacco doesn’t give any causes to the people..

  12. chirag patel Says:

    thanks i was going to have a hooka but because of this note i m really going to aviod it

  13. Karanis Says:

    Honestly, I doubt that hookah-smoking is worse than cigarette-smoking. The only exception I can think of is for someone who smokes hookah on a daily basis (or more than once a day). This generally isn’t the case for Westerners, but perhaps it is for people in the Middle East or Southern Asia, where hookah smoking originated.

    It would have been best if you had linked to the sources of your claim. I’m sure they’re valid, but the studies and the methodology of the studies would have been helpful to know more about.

    Here are the pros and cons I can see about exclusive hookah smoking vs exclusive cigarette smoking:

    – They have a filter that manages to catch several toxins (unless you’re busying non-filter cigarettes – YUCK!)
    – Each session (the time it takes to smoke one cigarette) is usually about 10-15 minutes long

    – Cigarettes normally contain additives (unless you buy pricier additive-free ones. This is generally the case in the United States, where I live, I don’t know the situation abroad). Additives are put in cigarettes for the sole purpose of making them more addicting to their users, and also make cigarettes more toxic.
    – Cigarettes are generally more addicting
    – Cigarettes burn at a very high temperature: when it is being drawn from, it will burn at around 700C/1292F. When not being drawn from, the temperature can be around 400C/752F on the sides, and 580C/1112F in the center. You can check Google for that information. A high temperature releases more chemicals that are then brought into the lungs.
    – Having a cigarette smoking session is much more easily done than having a hookah session; you just pull one out of your pack and light it. In other words, it’s easy to smoke cigarettes all day long.
    – And of course, we haev a vast body of knowledge linking cigarettes to lung cancer.

    I’ll start with the Cons:
    – Each session lasts much longer than individual cigarettes, generally anywhere between half an hour to an hour and a half (30-90 minutes). You’ll be inhaling a much larger volume of smoke during this time.
    – Most hookahs do no have the same filters that cigarettes have, which catch many chemicals. Some hose filters are manufactured, but most people don’t use them.
    – Sometimes the tobacco does burn, but only if you’re doing it improperly. This is a common problem.
    – You’re burning coals (there are different types on the market). This can potentially bring in additional chemicals, though if you’re breathing in material from the coals, you’re REALLY doing it wrong.

    – Hookahs tobacco, when done properly, bakes – not burns – at a MUCH lower temperature than cigarettes burn. On average, your tobacco sits around 120-140C (250-285F). At a maximum, it will go up to 175C (350F), which is still far lower than the temperature of a lit cigarette when it is NOT being drawn from (400C/752F on the sides of a lit cigarette, 580C/1112F in the center). Because of this, you will extract far fewer chemicals out of your tobacco.
    – Water filter. I’m honestly not sure how effective this form of filtration is, though.
    – Because hookah tobacco lacks additives, it is far less addicting. I know of no one who is addicted to hookah-smoking.
    – Speaking of additives, the fact that they aren’t there makes smoking this type of tobacco less toxic.
    – On average, a smoker will spend more time smoking multiple cigarettes within a single day than the average hookah-smoker (due to cigarettes being more readily available). The time it takes to smoke around 4-6 cigarettes will equal or exceed an average hookah session. Most cigarette smokers I know smoke at least that many in a day.
    – Speaking of addiction, most cigarette smokers smoke EVERY day. The same is generally not the case for hookah-smoking. Most people I know, when they’re getting busy with their narghile, will smoke up to maybe three times a week, but will rarely use it that often, and will sometimes never use it for as many as a few months. Again, the case may be different in parts of the world where the hookah originated.

    As far as I can tell, the problems associated with cigarettes (their content, the method of smoking, and the usual frequency of smoking) makes them much more risky than hookah smoking does.

    I think a fair study would involve presence of lung cancer in average exclusive cigarette smokers, versus average exclusive hookah smokers. I can almost guarantee you that the results will find a higher incidence of cancer and other ailments in the cigarette smoking crowd. This is not to say hookah smoking is any good, but it’s certainly far less risky than cigarette smoking.

  14. K Says:

    2day I tried it 4 1st time but after reading dis info. I will never try it again. Its my first n last time

    Thnx oncs again

  15. Statistician Says:

    “..eighty-eight percent of those people with cancer in India were at one-time hookah smokers.”

    I bet 95% of those people also drank orange juice at some point…it doesn’t imply that orange juice causes cancer. This is a logical fallacy. What you really need is a statistic that compares rates of lung cancer among people that don’t smoke hookah vs rates of lung cancer among people that do (while making sure that the rest of the variables between the two groups stay as constant as possible…i.e exposure to other carcinogen chemicals etc…)

    Again, I’m not saying hookah can’t cause cancer; it very well can. I’m just saying the statistic mentioned above is irrelevant to your argument.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Hey i realy love smoking my hookah but now that i see wat the causes are im gona stop smokin.thanx for the info!

  17. Keysia Says:

    Hey i realy love smoking my hookah but now that i see wat the causes are im gona stop smokin.thanx for the info!

  18. yusuf Says:

    Thanks, I will try to avoid this hookah stuff.

  19. Lisa Says:

    My friends and I went to a hookah bar today. I didnt do it but my head started hurting and my heart felt a little heavy from the secondhand smoke. I knew that had to be had, but I didnt know it was that harmful.

  20. MashaAllah. Important, need-to-know information. I hope many Muslim youth read this inshallah.


  21. Zasa Says:

    Проекты. Покупка мебель
    Нужен каменщик

  22. Kesk Says:

    Wow! What a really ignorant artical 🙂

    Please, anyone who has read this artical, don’t believe all of whats been said. Read the comments from people who know what they’re talking about.

  23. mirkat Says:


    here read this everyone it will help explain.. it might be unhealthy as it says but not as bad as cigarettes

  24. Lenny Lopez Says:

    You people are so ignoratn heres this guy tryin to give everyone some positive advise but ofcaorse you americans never listen till something happens right…You people here in the USA just started smoking this shit other countries in the middle east have been smoking this stuff for years use your brains stupid what other proof do you want from the guy…Thanks for the info again i appreciate it only those that choose to listen will be saved the rest deserve to get a desease and cancer at the same time then go to hell where they belong…

    • Cry Me a River Says:

      You’re just like the rest of these fucking idiots who believe whatever is written on a blog, only worse because you bring nationality into it. It’s healthy for people to ask questions, demand sources, and doubt random bullshit written in an opinion piece. The guy who wrote this provided no external URLs for anyone to confirm where he received his information. You single-handedly proved how closed-minded and ignorant you actually are for not being open to hearing facts as to why this post might be wrong AND for insulting an entire country’s people. People like you make me embarrassed to be human.

  25. Lenny Lopez Says:

    The origins of the hookah come from the north western provinces of India along the border of Pakistan in Rajasthan and Gujarat nearly a millennia back [map]. These hookahs were simple, primitive, and rugged in design, usually made from a coconut shell base and tube with a head attached. They were designed to smoke opium [more], and hashish [more]. The hookah made its way through the Persian Kingdom [map], which also included Pakistan, Afghanistan, much of Middle Asia and Arab parts of Northern Africa. The hookah acquired tombeik on its way through Persia. Tombeik is a dark tobacco grown in modern day Iran. Tombeik is rinsed and packed in the large older style heads where hot coal is applied directly to the wet tombeik, which gives it a strong flavor. These heads and style of hookah, referred to as “ghelune” in Persian [more], are available on our web site. The hookahs designed in the Persian Empire are still hand crafted with each one being cut from a piece of wood. In the 19th century, cigarettes were made easily available and mostly women smoked the ghelune because they were not on the go. Women used the ghelune in the home for entertaining and as a past time.

    When the hookah made its way into Turkey [map] about 500 years ago, it endured a surge of popularity among the upper class and intellectuals and thus changing in design. The hookah grew in size and complexity and became similar to designs that we are more familiar with today. Brass and glass were added to the design and less wood was used. Intricate paintings and mosaics were added for beauty and elegance. The popularity grew into hookah coffee shops in Turk society two to three centuries ago. A hookah bar waiter was treated similar to a chef because of the preparation for hookah smoking. The packing and moisture was a skill, and it was considered rude to touch the coals. Hookah smoking migrated south into the Arab world from Turkey to Lebanon and Syria [map] where it got the name argile. It then spread into Egypt and Morocco [map], where it is known as shisha. It is also know as the hubble bubble in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Today, hookah bars are social places where many people get together to discuss politics and local events. In Kuwait and Saudi Arabia [map], the hookah bars are for men only, and in some Muslim countries, many believe that the hookah is haram [more], or forbidden..

    Most hookah smoking countries serve Naklia shisha. Naklia shisha is a combination of foreign tobaccos, honey molasses and dried fruit. The smoke is filtered through ice cold water to make the smoke cool and soothing. Older generations smoked hashish and opium, which has created a negative stigma for the hookah that is smoked today. Slowly society is accepting the hookah as more of a pipe for tobacco instead of illegal drugs. The hookah has been growing in popularity in the United States and Europe since the experimentation of the 60’s [more]. Now they are in every college head shop and Middle Eastern market across the entire U.S.. It is also growing in popularity in Japan.

    “Cigarettes are for nervous people, competitive people, people on the run [�] When you smoke a narghile, you have time to think. It teaches you patience and tolerance, and gives you an appreciation of good company. Narghile smokers have a much more balanced approach to life than cigarette smokers.” (Ismet Ertep, 71 years Turkey)

  26. nadia Says:

    I’m hooked on hookah, I’ve smoked it at least 5 times already. I know it’s bad for my health as I always get the buzz(light headed) from smoking it, and feel tired with short of breath the next day. Smoking hookah means inhaling the carbon monoxide from burning coal.


    Those asking for links of articles should do their own research if you don’t believe it, or just stay ignorant.
    Btw, eating shrimps, lobster, crabs, and other crustaceans is also unhealthy.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Great man….i wasnt tryna hear this… Im a Jamaican living in the USA and i ave a personal hookah which i smoke atleast 8 times per day. R u guys tryna tell me i got cancer? Cause i be lighting up one after another. I like to chill and think. This helps me do so. So if you all dnt know what u are saying, then dont say it. The hookah tobacco label clearly states 0% tar and 0.5% nic. Get ur info rite and lmk.

  28. max loh Says:

    Well written, more or less! But putting an exclamation mark after each sentence kind of dampens your credibility!

    • Anonymous Says:

      Ive been smoking it for 35 years now I’m 55 y.o. I feel fine no problem. Scientists dont have anything exept ignorance. So enjoy.

  29. yoursurprise-bellatio-5 Says:

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

  30. wake up call Says:

    Please forward this e-mail to me. It is clear that this hookah smoking causes lung cancer and is so much worst than smoking cigarettes which is bad enough.

    Scare me into quitting. I must quit. I need to quit if I know wha.t is good for my good health.

    it’s time I clean up my act. Send me more information to make me quit

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  34. Thanks for sharing this precious information. I like your concern in the post which is very useful for me.I like your information which is very useful for me. Thanks.

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