Earlier this year, Leicester PCT’s Stop Smoking service said it had seen an alarming rise in the number of teenagers in the city smoking shisha. And this summer, Birmingham’s three PCTs will launch a city-wide tobacco control strategy, which includes increasing the awareness of shisha smoking.
Dr Khalid Anis, chairman of NTAG in Manchester, says: “There’s a misconception that shisha is not as bad for you as cigarettes, because the tobacco is flavoured and passes through water first. But the carcinogens and nicotine are still there. So a regular shisha smoker can expect to be at risk to the similar health problems that cigarette smokers face, whether that’s respiratory, heart disease or cancer. As with any other tobacco product, I expect regular shisha smokers will find it addictive, to the point that they may need it every day.”
According to research carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the volume of smoke inhaled in an hour-long shisha session is estimated to be the equivalent of smoking between 100 and 200 cigarettes. The estimated findings go on to show that, on average, a smoker will inhale half a litre of smoke per cigarette, while a shisha smoker can take in anything from just under a sixth of a litre to a litre of smoke per inhale.
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