• Hookah Smoking Could Lead to Heart Attack

    Hookah Smoking Could Lead to Heart Attack

    Hookah smoking, a fast growing trend among youth and college students, has recently been in the spotlight for causing an increased risk of heart attacks.

    Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke specially made tobacco that come in different flavors such as apple, mint, cherry, chocolate, coconut, licorice, cappuccino and watermelon.  A typical modern hookah has a head (with holes in the bottom), a metal body, a water bowl and a flexible hose with a mouthpiece.  Hookah smoking is typically done in groups, with the same mouthpiece passed from person to person. (1)

    Some believe that the popular fruit, candy and alcohol flavors found in hookah tobacco smoking are a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco.  However, a recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles discovered that just one half-hour of hookah smoking resulted in the development of cardiovascular risk factors similar to those found in traditional cigarette smoking.

    Heart rate, blood pressure, arterial stiffness, blood nicotine and exhaled carbon monoxide levels were measured in 48 healthy, young hookah smokers before and after 30 minutes of hookah smoking.  The results showed that a single session of hookah smoking increased heart rate and blood pressure and significantly increased measures of arterial stiffness, a key risk factor in the development of heart attack and stroke. (2)

    (1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    (2) American Journal of Cardiology

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