One of the most devalued concerns in the United States is tobacco smoking. A frightening addiction several young adults pick in college is smoking. Recently, I have noticed a trend that is popular amongst college students called hookah. Hookah, also known as water pipe, shisha, narghile, goza, and hubble-bubble, is used to smoke exotic flavored tobacco. A common misconception that is widely accepted around college campuses as well as societies everywhere is that hookah is a healthy alternative to cigarettes.
The truth concealed beneath the myth is that hookah is in no way a “healthy alternative” to cigarettes; it has always been and will continue to be detrimental to the human body. The fact is that hookah is actually worse than cigarettes (Sharifi p 66). One prominent issue that heightens the dangers of hookah is the steady rise in popularity. It is currently estimated that one hundred million individuals smoke hookah daily (Chaouchai p 800). Furthermore, hookah smoking has become an epidemic in college and affects the life of a large number of students.
So it is appropriate that college students are kept informed of the harmful effects of hookah. A recent study revealed that the smoking of hookah is consistently increasing among college students (Primack p 81). For example, a survey created by Breathe California modeled the increasing rate of hookah usage in college campuses. A survey showed that forty percent of students had smoked hookah in the past two months. Later, the study revealed that in the subsequent six months, fifty eight percent of the students were smoking hookah (TobaccoFreeU p 1). This study proves the increasing rates of hookah smoking.
Moreover, more proof that hookah is becoming more popular in college is a study created by the Annals Behavioral Science Journal, which stated that “ of the 647 respondents, waterpipe smoking was reported in 40. 5%, over the past year in 30. 6%, and over the past 30 days in 9. 5%” (Primack 83). Thus, action must first be taken in college because they are our future generation. Smoking hookah has detrimental effects to the human body. For example, hookah smoke comprises of harmful toxins such as high concentration of carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, and injurious metals (Aki 835).
It is also noteworthy that a study revealed that the chemicals in hookah are carcinogens (cancer causing cells) (Aki 835). Research has indicated that hookah smoke causes lung cancer, respiratory illnesses, periodontal diseases, oral cancer, and bladder cancer. One overlooked fact is that smoking hookah tends to be a longer pastime compared to smoking a cigarette (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Since the hookah smoker is exposed to the tobacco juice for an extended period of time, the smoker develops a higher risk of oral cancer (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).
According to the CDC, “More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined (CDC)”. The reason tobacco smoking should be critically addressed is because tobacco smoking is most preventable cause of death in the United States. Surprisingly, for every 5 deaths of a United States Citizen, one is attributed to smoking (CDC). Thus, creating a solution to this problem is imperative because it will help save people’s life.
As several young adults would agree, smoking hookah has become a social activity. Another overlooked issue about smoking hookah is sanity. The pipe that connects to the hookah is shared among all the smokers. Hookah bars aren’t required to sterilize the hose or provide smokers with mouthpieces, so there are a lot of diseases that can be transmitted orally. Dangerous diseases like tuberculosis, herpes, and hepatitis can be transferred through the shared pipe. This matter was proven within a group of smokers in Denver that suffered an outbreak of mononucleosis that originated in the hookah bars (TobaccoFreeU p 6).
As stated earlier, a widely accepted misconception most college students have is that hookah is not toxic. Studies show that students think hookah is a healthier alternative because water passes through a water filter; however, the smoke still contains dangerous contaminants. Furthermore, because hookah smoke is considered to be a smoother smoke, students justify it as being healthier than cigarettes. Studies conducted in Egypt, Israel, and Syria have found that in general, people know little about its health effects and believe that it is less harmful than cigarette smoking (TobaccoFreeU p3).
Hookah smoke carries more risk than cigarettes. According to the CDC, “a typical 1-hour-long hookah smoking session involves inhaling 100–200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). This indicates that even occasional hookah smokers are in danger. Finally, the reason smokers tend to have misconception about hookah is because the FDA does not regulate the labels. For example, most labels state that the tobacco contains zero tar (Martinasek p 37). Sadly, this is all a lie.
Originally, the hookah flavor might not contain tar, but when you burn it or smoke it the hookah flavor is turned into tar. Thus, it its crucial that the myths and misconceptions of hookah are debunked. A potential solution to this issue could be to have the FDA regulate the labels and state the truth about the ingredients. The more people are kept informed about the negative effects of their actions, the less likely they are to continue to do them. The same would apply to the action of smoking hookah. If people knew the ugly truths about hookah, the habit of hookah would decline.
Accordingly, the first and most vital solution is to raise awareness of the hurtful effects from hookah smoke. College students deserve to know the true side effects of smoking in order to make educated decisions. Most colleges require students to take an education course on drugs and alcohol. My solution would require that the negative effects of hookah would be implemented in the curriculum. Committee members should dedicate their time to enlighten the community would hold meetings. These meetings will teach the people about the common misconceptions of hookah ands the dangers that come with this activity.
Moreover, informing prospective students during college orientations should dedicate a segment of their time to speak about drugs and alcohol and include a section about hookah. The raising of awareness is an extremely feasible plans because it does not require a lot of money or resources. All that is required is knowledge about the hazardous effects of hookah. Smoking indoors and at bars has been banned in some states (American Lung Associaton). A valuable solution would be to ban indoor smoking. Smoking indoor intensifies the negative effects because the carbon monoxide is not vented.
For example, “a study done at the University of Florida shows that patrons leaving hookah cafes had carbon monoxide levels more than three times higher than patrons exiting traditional bars” (Pease). It should be noticed that Americans are falling into the traps of false advertisements. Therefore, another vital solution is that FDA should be the one to regulate hookah tobacco (TobaccoFreeU). The FDA does not regulate tobacco made for hookah, so the greedy hookah companies freely market and distribute the poisonous products. People should also be well aware of the fact that FDA does not regulate the tobacco that is made for hookah.
These solutions are feasible because many states have already begun enforcing laws regarding hookah (American Lung Associaton). In my plan to raise awareness and lower the use of hookah, I would suggest that a law should be passed that would prohibit the smoking hookah indoors and that FDA regulates hookah tobacco. Studies have shown the people are misinformed about side effects of hookah. If people knew the truth, the rates of smoking hookah in college campuses would go down. A study done by the US Tobacco Control Program showed the effectiveness of smoking-free campaigns.
For example, research shows that a campaign against tobacco can decrease use by ten percent. Also, according to the Journal of Public Health, California anti-tobacco campaign reduced the sales of cigarettes by 232 million packs in only two years (Tobacco Free Kids p 2). The effectiveness of smoking free campaign is impressive. Likewise, if college campuses created hookah smoking free campaigns and educated students on consequences, the consumption of waterpipe tobacco would decline. To ensure that hookah tobacco consumption declines, the US should implement a law regarding hookah use.
A lot of bars and stores have found a loophole in the law that allows hookah bars to be indoors (American Lung Associaton). Smoking indoors is illegal because it heightens the side effects. Moreover, indoor smoking affects the people around you because of secondhand smoking. Secondhand smoking can cause innocent children to develop a deathly respiratory disease. Implementing a smoke free policy is shown to be effective. For example, a “2005 study in the journal Tobacco Control of the smoke free law in Ireland found that, “Approximately 46% of Irish smokers reported that the law had made them more likely to quit.
Among Irish smokers who had quit at post-legislation, 80% reported that the law had helped them quit and 88% reported that the law helped them stay quit (Tobacco Free Kids p3)”. This is just one of many studies that have shown the decline of cigarettes. Similarly, an indoor smoke ban on hookah would substantially reduce hookah use. Essentially, a law would reduce the consumption Moreover, if students were still to smoke hookah, secondhand smoke would not be an issues to employees because the students would smoke outside.
Decisively, the solution is ideal because a smoking ban would slowly diminish the rates of smoking. A law regarding hookah is imperative because it would make progress to avert the most preventable death in America. Furthermore, the idea that FDA regulates tobacco is necessary. If FDA regulated the tobacco made for hookah, then the college students would know the truth. Essentially this could lower the rates of smoking hookah in college because students would know the devastating truth. The common thread within all of these solutions is that they would effectively lower the rates of smoking hookah.
This issue is one that has been overlooked for long periods of time. People need to start acting and keeping others informed about the dangers of hookah. It is not only affecting their own bodies, but also those of people who happen to be around while they are exhaling the smoke. An issue like this one is one that I am highly attentive to because I know that the cessation of smoking would save several lives. These days, there are too many unavoidable ailments that affect several lives, why pile up the chances of becoming sick by deliberately exposing our bodies to carcinogens and harmful toxins?
Drastic measures need to be taken due to all of the dire consequences that come tied with this habit. My proposal is to keep the students informed about the effects their bodies suffer due to their actions, involve the law by banning indoor smoking, also informing the smokers of the harm they are causing others due to second hand smoking, making it known that the FDA does not regulate tobacco made for hookah (thus, the label is not fully accurate), and the addition of a hookah segment during college orientation.
Works Cited Aki, Elie A. “The effects of waterpipe tobacco smoking on health outcomes: a systematic review. ” International Journal of Epidemiology 39. 3 (2010): 834-857. American Lung Associaton. “AN EMERGING DEADLY TREND:WATERPIPE TOBACCO USE. ” February 2007. www. lungusa. org. 7 August 2012 <http://www. lungusa2. org/embargo/slati/Trendalert_Waterpipes. pdf>. CDC. Tobacco-Related Mortality. 7 August 2012 <http://www. cdc. gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/>.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Hookahs. 7 August 2012 <http://www. cdc. gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/hookahs/>. Chaouachi, Kamal. “Hookah (Shisha, Narghile) Smoking and Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). A Critical Review of the Relevant Literature and the Public Health Consequences. ” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 6. 2 (2009): 798-843. Martinasek, Mary P. “Waterpipe (Hookah) Tobacco Smoking Among Youth. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care 41. 2 (2011): 34–57. Pease, Jill. UF researchers find social hookah smoking packs a carbon monoxide punch . UF. Gainesville, 2011. Primack, Brian A. “Prevalence of and Associations with Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking among U. S. University Students. ” Annals of Behavioral Science 36. 1 (2008): 81-86. Sharifi, Hooman. “Tobacco Smoking Pattern: Cigarette vs. Hookah . ” National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 8. 1 (2009): 62-67. Tobacco Free Kids.
PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS REDUCE TOBACCO USE. 7 August2012<http://www. tobaccofreekids. org/research/factsheets/pdf/0051. pdf>. Tobacco Free Kids. “SMOKE-FREE LAWS ENCOURAGE SMOKERS TO QUIT AND DISCOURAGE YOUTH FROM STARTING. ” http://www. tobaccofreekids. org. 7 August 2012 www. tobaccofreekids. org/research/factsheets/pdf/0198. pdf>. TobaccoFreeU. “Reducing Hookah Use A Public Health Challenge For the 21st Century. ” TobaccoFreeU. org. August 2012 <http://www. tobaccofreeu. org/pdf/HookahWhitePaper. pdf>.