Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We're Inhaling Too Much Hookah Smoke

There is no question that the hookah has become one of the biggest draws for bars and clubs everywhere.

The popularity of this social past time has exploded like nothing else. In just the past few years, the hookah went from a novelty item in a few lounges, to a regular at almost every club, house parties and even family get togethers.

DJ Flipstar - Smoking Hookah
The history of the water pipe hookah, has been traced back to as far as the early 1500s in India. The 1960s is the era in which its use started to become popular in the United States. Since then, it's been slowly rising nightlife trend.

Many are drawn by the catalog of flavors, but it is the supposed 'less harmful than smoking a cigarette' aspect, and not having to go outside for a smoke idea that has really helped make hookahs so popular.

The 'less harmful than smoking a cigarette' idea is attributed to the water filtration process, which filters the tabacco smoke through water rather than the cellulose based components commonly found at the end of cigarettes.

Unfortunately, there is a rather big deal that is being completely ignored, second-hand smoke. Hookah smokers produce and inhale much more of it.

The second-hand smoke issue becomes worse at bars and clubs, which can sometimes have more than 20 hookahs burning at a time.

And, since just like cigarettes, second hand smoke from a hookah is bad, this was the focus of a new study by DR. Patrick Breysse, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, that found that the air pollution inside bars from hookah smoke, may be much worse than from cigarette smoke.

Professor Breysse's study found that the air tested at seven hookah bars in Baltimore, contained dangerously high levels of airborne particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nicotine. The findings were compared with "concentrations that were observed in cigarette smoking bars."

The big issue here, are the levels of particulate matter and carbon monoxide found in "hookah bars," which would be a label easily attributed to most club in New York City today.

We've all heard the stories of an entire family dying because of carbon monoxide poisoning from air conditioners and heaters.

The only plus from the Breysse study, is that hookah smoking does produce less nicotine intake, as per the "air nicotine concentrations found."

What we can takeaway from the Breysse study, is the old saying that too much of anything is bad. And the current hookah trend going on across New York City, is getting to be far too much.