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Recent studies have shown that cigarette popularity has gone down amongst teens and young adults, while hookah use has skyrocketed. Many are drawn to the current trend of flavors and smells hookah has to offer, yet are unaware that hookah carries the same and even worse health consequences than regular tobacco cigarettes.
According to a study performed by The American Academy of Pediatrics, hookah use is on the rise amongst teenagers in the U.S. Results show that 18 percent of high school seniors out of 5,540 surveyed smoked hookah.
Other studies also point to the rapid increase in smoking hookah. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention< study demonstrated that from 2011 to 2012 the number of high school students that smoked hookah increased from 4.1 percent to 5.4 percent. Also, a 2013 CDC study showed that middle school students are also jumping on the bandwagon, with 1.3 percent of middle school students having smoked hookah. Studies have also shown that nearly half of college students have smoked hookah.
Much of the appeal for hookah comes from the fact that it doesn’t smell or taste like tobacco. It also serves as a social activity since people share a pipe. However, despite all of its glamour, smoking hookah is hazardous for your health.
Those who smoke hookah intake the same metals, carbon monoxide, and cancer causing elements as someone who smokes cigarettes, according to Dr. Norman Edelman of the American Lung Association. They are also exposed to Nicotine, the addictive ingredient found in cigarettes. Hookah users also are actually more susceptible to the dangerous chemicals because they inhale the smoke more deeply and smoke for an hour, which equates to approximately 200 puffs, while cigarettes take roughly 20 puffs, The American Academy of Pediatrics noted.
Hookah bars also contribute to the increase in hookah use. While 75 percent of the main cities in the U.S. have banned the bars, most hookah bar owners are finding ways to get around it.