Today, hookah smoking is popular not only in the eastern countries that are the birthplace of this smoking device, but also in Russia. This attribute of oriental culture has so thoroughly entered the life of modern people that you can smoke a hookah not only in a thematic institution (bar or restaurant), but also at home.
Why is hookah popular?
Most often, hookah attracts young people. An interesting and unusual is the hookah ritual itself: a large company, leisurely heart-to-heart talk, alternately applying to a miracle pipe and inhaling sweet aromatic smoke. This ritual brings together, creates a certain atmosphere for communication and pastime. That is what hookah is gaining its fans.
In addition to the attractive smoking ritual, the hookah “scores points” thanks to the myth of its safety for health. It is believed that hookah does not do any harm to the body and does not cause addiction, unlike regular cigarettes. This opinion further encourages people to smoke hookah regularly. Some with the help of a hookah try to fight the habit of smoking cigarettes, believing that the oriental device can become a healthy alternative to regular smoking. However, modern studies show that hookah is no less harmful to health than cigarettes, and dependence on a hookah under certain conditions is formed in the same way as on cigarettes. Quitting smoking a hookah is no easier than overcoming addiction to cigarettes.
How does a hookah harm health?
The idea of hookah safety did not arise from scratch. The device of this device is such that the smoke from the burnt tobacco mixture, before entering the smoker’s body, passes through a flask with a liquid (water, juice or wine). It is believed that passing through a liquid purifies smoke from most of the harmful impurities, so breathing in it is not dangerous. Indeed, part of the harmful impurities from hookah smoke remains in the liquid. However, those who explain the lack of harm forget about other important points.
- While smoking a hookah, a person inhales 100 times more smoke than when smoking a cigarette, because the hookah is smoked for an hour or longer.
- To draw in smoke from a flask, a person has to take a very strong breath, so the smoke from a hookah enters deep into the lungs.
- Passing through the water, the smoke cools, so it is easier to inhale: the protective mechanisms of breathing do not interfere with inhalation.
- In addition to harmful impurities from smoke, when smoking a hookah, a lot of carbon monoxide enters the body, which is released during smoldering coals.
Can hookah cause addiction?
Any dependence has a psychological and physiological component. If we talk about smoking, then at the physiological level, nicotine, the active component of tobacco, causes dependence. Nicotine is a powerful neurostimulator, it integrates very quickly into the metabolism and it becomes difficult for the body to function without such “doping”. Psychological dependence on smoking is a dependence on the procedure itself (inhaling and releasing smoke, the habit of keeping a cigarette in your mouth and tasting it, a way to while away time with smoking). Let’s try to figure out what will happen if you smoke a hookah.
First, hookah tobacco blends may also contain nicotine. Most of these mixtures are, so when a person smokes a hookah, he receives a dose of nicotine. Even in the absence of the habit of smoking cigarettes, regular smoking of a hookah can cause nicotine addiction. Even if the smoking mixture does not contain nicotine, there is a high risk of getting into a psychological dependence on smoking a hookah. Unlike regular smoking, the hookah ritual is much more “festive” and unusual. Pleasant associations that connect the hookah smoking procedure with a circle of friends, interesting communication, vivid impressions, make a person return to this process again and again. At the same time, defeating psychological dependence is no easier than physiological.
How to stop smoking a hookah?
To quit smoking a hookah, you must first of all have a very persistent desire and understanding of why this is necessary. Without good motivation, any undertaking is doomed to failure. From a physiological point of view, it is necessary to fight the habit of smoking a hookah in the same way as with another form of nicotine addiction. The most difficult thing in this matter is to survive the “nicotine withdrawal,” which occurs when quitting nicotine. At this stage, special medications and support for loved ones help well. When craving for smoking is reduced, it is important to help the body cleanse itself of toxins and rebuild the metabolism, taking into account the absence of nicotine in the blood.
To defeat psychological dependence, you need to get rid of the connection between smoking a hookah and positive emotions. To do this, it’s best to direct your efforts towards finding new, safe sources of pleasure: sports, dancing, hobbies. One of the difficult moments that everyone who tries to quit smoking faces is the struggle with the environment. Not always a company is sympathetic to the desire to get rid of a bad habit, and if we talk about smoking a hookah, then giving up this can generally be regarded as an attempt to fight off the team. If the decision to quit smoking a hookah was made consciously – it is worth having patience and firmness and not giving in to the entreaties of friends. From all that has been said, it becomes clear that although smoking a hookah is a beautiful and unusual ritual, from the point of view of harm to health, it is no better than smoking regular cigarettes. A hookah is also capable of causing addiction, and psychological dependence on it is formed quite quickly. However, if there is a strong desire – you can get rid of it.