Is Shisha smoking worse than cigarettes?

Madhu Haval
January 16, 2023

Shisha smoking also called narghile, hookah or hubble bubble smoking dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries along the north western provinces of India along the border of Pakistan in Rajasthan and Gujarat.   The design was simple and rugged, usually made from a coconut shell base and tube with a head attached.

Over the years shisha smoking has made its way over to the west and has become increasingly popular. Shisha cafes and bars are abundant, and more and more people are being increasingly drawn into the world of shisha smoking.

Some people mistakenly think that shisha is not harmful when, in fact, people that smoke shisha are at risk of catching the same diseases as people that smoke cigarettes. In fact, smoking shisha is much worse for you than smoking cigarettes. According to the British Heart Foundation, someone smoking shisha for an hour inhales the same amount of toxins as someone smoking 100 cigarettes!

People also think that because it might be labelled as “fruit” or “herbal” it carries certain benefits. In reality it’s just as dangerous as regular cigarette smoking and the carcinogenic compounds also exceed what’s found in regular cigarettes. Even if you use tobacco free shisha, smoking still produces harmful levels of toxins like tar and carbon monoxide.

Shisha smoking is also highly addictive because of the nicotine content and affects those around you that don’t smoke shisha because of the second-hand smoke. As Shisha is often smoked in shisha café’s even if you don’t smoke shisha, you’re still being exposed to dangerous toxins such as carbon monoxide.

If you smoke shisha you’re also at risk of catching tuberculosis, herpes, colds and now covid – 19. This is because of the practice of sharing mouthpieces while smoking. Think about what you’re sharing! In this case, sharing isn’t caring!

If you are a shisha smoker and would like free support to quit, you can speak to one of our Stop Smoking advisors by signing up to One You today!

Written by Birju Thakker (External Engagement Consultant/Stop Smoking Advisor)