Shisha or also known as sheesha, is a tobacco mixed with molasses or honey that is used for Hookah smoking. Unlike the tobacco in cigars and cigarettes, which contains industrial chemicals and artificial additives, shisha is made of only natural substances and comes in a wide range of flavors.
Shisha is said to have originated from the northwestern provinces of India along the border of Pakistan in Rajasthan and Gujarat. It soon traveled to Iran and the rest of the Arab world. However, it was in Turkey that completed its revolution, where design and tradition took form as part of its cultural characteristic. Since then, shisha has been the standard of smoking in the Middle East. Like most trends, it finally found its way to Nigeria. Now here’s what you need to know before you inhale.
Shisha basically is specially made tobacco which is heated and the smoke passed through water and is then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece.With its entirely different smoking experience, shisha has become so popular. It has been used to smoke away stress because of the relaxing sensation that one gets and the pleasure of a flavorful smoke not to mention the “cool” vibe shisha smokers get.
The health effects & dangers of shisha
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg), contrary to the popular belief, the smoke that comes from a water pipe contains numerous toxicants known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and other diseases. Although it is true that the water does absorb some of the nicotine, still shisha smokers are exposed to a sufficient dose of nicotine to cause addiction. The World Health Organization further revealed that a single session of smoking shisha yields a nicotine intake equivalent to more than one pack of cigarettes. This means that a shisha user can expect the same risk that cigarette smokers are facing.
In the research conducted by the Department of Health and Center for Tobacco Control Research, people who smoke shisha or herbal tobacco can suffer from high carbon monoxide. As with cigarettes, the presence of high levels of carbon monoxide, tar and heavy metals can be carcinogenic or cancer causing in the body. Thus, there is a high risk not only for cigarette smokers but also for shisha smokers to suffer from cancer, particularly of the lips, mouth, tongue, throat and lungs, and also cardiovascular disease.
Other health risks
Not many shisha users realized that the risk of getting communicable diseases is very high. Shisha pipes used in bars and cafes may not be cleaned properly, risking the spread of infectious diseases Shisha smoking may not directly cause it but it is associated with the sharing of water pipes. Getting tuberculosis and other common illnesses like cold and flu viruses are some of the dangers of shisha which can be another problem.