Is smoking a water pipe, or hookah, safer than smoking a cigarette? Contrary to popular belief, the answer is no.
According to Ramzi Salloum, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy, the smoke inhaled during a hookah session contains significantly more nicotine and tar than the average cigarette.
Salloum, a health economist who specializes in cancer prevention and tobacco control, was featured as an expert in the article “Research shows hookah may not be the safe alternative to cigarettes after all,” in the Independent Florida Alligator. In the article, published on January 19, Salloum says smoking a hookah is linked to acute respiratory conditions and carbon monoxide poisoning, along with certain types of cancer.
“It is humbling to know that my research is gaining traction so close to home,” said Salloum, who has conducted several studies showing that hookah use has become increasingly common among youth in the United States. “College students are the most vulnerable age group associated with hookah use, yet statistics show that a significant number of young adults are uninformed about the dangers of hookah.”
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