A new study has found the US teens and young adults see hookah and electronic cigarettes as being safe.
These products are becoming more and more popular among the nation’s youth as manufacturers have started to mask the taste of tobacco with generally beloved flavors such as bubble gum or green apple, and an increasing number of young people often forget or ignore the devastating effects that tobacco products can have on the human body.
And the danger does not end there. While these flavoring chemicals are also used in food products and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers them safe, fact is that they are also well known respiratory irritants. However, some experts on the matter have suggested that they only endanger an individual’s health when they are inhaled, and not when they are ingested.
The new study, conducted by researchers from World Health Organization, focused primarily on young people’s perception of various modern tobacco products and how they compare to traditional cigarettes. The research team concluded that young people under the age of 25 are likely to see hookah and electronic cigarettes as being much safer.
The results are alarming as they indicate that not only smokers, but also a significant number of non-smokers perceive hookahs and electronic cigarettes as safe and perfectly acceptable alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
For their study, the research team looked at more than 2.800 individuals, both smoking and non-smoking. They all had an age somewhere between 18 and 34.
When the researchers asked them how they perceived electronic cigarettes, 62.1 percent (62.1%) of the subjects with an age somewhere between 18 and 24, and 54.6 percent (54.6%) of the subjects with an age somewhere between 24 and 35, said that electronic cigarettes were not as risky as traditional cigarettes.
And when the researchers asked them how they perceived hookah, 32.7 percent (32.7%) of the subjects with an age somewhere between 18 and 24, and 18.5 percent (18.5%) of the subjects with an age somewhere between 24 and 35, said that hookah was not as risky as traditional cigarettes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) informs that hookahs (also known as waterpipes) first showed up in Africa and Asia, over four (4) centuries ago, and were originally used by indigenous peoples because their smoke was believed to filter water and decrease toxins.
The statement reads: “According to one historical account, a waterpipe was invented in India by a physician during the reign of Emperor Akbar (who ruled from 1556 to 1605) as a purportedly less harmful method of tobacco use”.
Here is where a widespread yet unsubstantiated belief was born and is still held on a pedestal by many modern day hookah users – that this is a safe practice.
But the study revealed that cigarette smokers puff somewhere between eight (8) and 12 times in just five (5) to seven (7) minutes, which means that they inhale somewhere between 0.5 and 0.6 liters of smoke in this short period of time.
Whereas hookah sessions typically last somewhere between 20 and 80 minutes, which means that hookah users puff somewhere between 50 and 200 times. This is the equivalent of smoking “100 or more cigarettes” according to the World Health Organization.
The findings were published recently, in the journal Health Education & Behavior.
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