A night at the hookah bar may not be a safe form of fun, a study published this month finds.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco squashed the belief that smoking from a water pipe is safe in a study they published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The researchers examined the urine samples of 55 experienced hookah smokers aged 18-48. What they found was a 73-fold increase in nicotine in their urine. They also found a "fourfold increase in cotinine; twofold increase in NNAL, a breakdown product of a tobacco-specific nitrosamine, NNK, which can cause lung and pancreatic cancers; and 14 to 91 percent increase in the breakdown products of VOC such as benzene and acrolein that are known to cause cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases," a press release stated.
"Although many perceive water pipe smoking to be relatively safe, clinical experimental studies indicate significant exposures to tobacco smoke carcinogens following water pipe use," the Journal article says.
This study finds that smoking in a hookah bar is associated with nicotine intake and carcinogen exposure, which could increase the risk of cancer as well as other chronic diseases.