One of my patients this week told me her 17 year old son went to a Hookah bar and seemed to think it was a safe” activity , not harmful in any significant way. I decided to research it and share the information. As a psychiatrist that treats teenage alcoholism and teenage drug abuse, I think every parent should the following facts:
Hookah bars were originally from India, then became popular in the Middle East, and are popular now in North America and Europe. Teens and young adults are frequenting them. Unfortunately, it has become a very popular way for youth to socialize and pass the time.
Here are 5 Hookah health risks -(the risks of smoking tobacco called Hookah Shishas using a Hookah pipe):
It’s not safe and here’s why:
1. A person inhales much more deeply and therefore takes in a larger volume of nicotine smoke . People have a misconception that smoking Hookah shishas , because it passes over water, is somehow safer than cigarettes. Not true! In 2010, World Health Organization and The American Cancer Society did a study that showed:
One hour of smoking using a hookah is equivalent to inhaling 100 to 200 times as much smoke and 70 times more nicotine than cigarettes.
2. It is also more harmful than cigarettes because of the higher levels of carbon monoxide and heavy metals. It has 36 times the tar of a cigarette.
3. Just like cigarettes, it significantly raises the risk of lung and oral cancers, heart disease, gastric and esophageal symptoms, and lowers fertility. It has the second hand smoke risks of cigarettes as well.
4. Because the Hookha pipe is often not cleaned properly (and may be shared), you can actually get an infectious disease (hepatitis, herpes, and tuberculosis).
5. Going to Hookah Bars on a frequent basis leads to nicotine dependence.
6. The developing brain is more vulnerable to the effects of nicotine. according to research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. Nicotine makes teens more vulnerable to teenage alcoholism, teenage drug abuse, and mental health disorders.
Parents: Don’t be naive about your teens or college aged kids going to Hookah Bars. Educate them about the risks. We know a lot more about thee risks of nicotine, drugs, and alcohol on the developing brain. One of the best ways to protect our teens from teenage alcoholism and teenage drug addiction is talking to our children and educating them about adverse effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain, keeping communication open, and being invloved in their lives.
If you want additional help with teenage alcoholism and teenage drug abuse, click here to register for my free report on, “How To Avoid The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make With Their Addicted Teen Or Young Adult Child”. It may save your family’s life. It outlines the typical mistakes families make that actually perpetuate teenage substance abuse.