The other day Njoki Chege did what she does best, throwing stones at a police station, this time, I agreed with her 100%. The only problem with the article was how she said it, not what she said. This is about Shisha or Hookah and the dangers it poses to unsuspecting users who value a quick high rather than their health. Shisha is a syrupy tobacco mix containing molasses and fruit mixes which is smoked through a pipe. There are some myths that shisha smokers love hiding behind, thinking they are safe. I did some digging (yes Googling is the new digging) and all I got was bad news followed by more bad news for the users of this product. Here are some of the myths
4. Shisha Smoke Filters Out Harmful Chemicals By Passing Through Water
This is the myth that attracts many to shisha. Basic chemistry will tell you that smoke is made up of little particles, which when taken in large quantities can cause problems for your lungs. But this will not be evident at once, it will obviously take time, just like in cigarette smoking. Inhaling smoke that has passed through some water is just that, a smoke screen to make you feel safe, in real sense the harmful components of shisha still find their way into your lungs. This myth is nothing but a smart marketing gimmick that has successfully pushed shisha into a top lifestyle activity for many; this is the same strategy that was used in the 1800s by cigarette manufacturers, their argument back then was that the cigarette filter prevented cancer causing chemicals from getting into the body, 2 centuries later we found that to be a big white lie. In the words of Njoki Chege, don’t be part of the statistics that will be used in journals years from now.
3. Shisha is Not Addictive
Another smart marketing strategy by shisha makers is painting shisha as a safer alternative to cigarettes. They do this by contrasting shisha and the harmful effects of cigarette smoking. They exploit the fact that little has been documented on the harmful effects of shisha. The chemical responsible for making cigarettes addictive is called Nicotine and it also present in shisha. Nicotine is a chemical found in all tobacco products and last time I checked shisha is just tobacco that attended Brookhouse. Shisha is made to look and sound glamorous by adding all manners of exotic herbs, others even have the nerve to use the word ‘herbal’. Shisha is addictive just like cigarettes. Studies have shown that a 60 minute shisha session exposes users to 100 times the smoke volume of a single cigarette. How much Nicotine do you reckon can be found in such a huge amount of smoke?