Waterpipe tobacco and cigarette smoking: direct comparison of toxicant exposure.

Department of Psychology and Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.28). 12/2009; 37(6):518-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.07.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Waterpipe (hookah, shisha) tobacco smoking has spread worldwide. Many waterpipe smokers believe that, relative to cigarettes, waterpipes are associated with lower smoke toxicant levels and fewer health risks. For physicians to address these beliefs credibly, waterpipe use and cigarette smoking must be compared directly.
The purpose of this study is to provide the first controlled, direct laboratory comparison of the toxicant exposure associated with waterpipe tobacco and cigarette smoking.
Participants (N=31; M=21.4 years, SD=2.3) reporting monthly waterpipe use (M=5.2 uses/month, SD=4.0) and weekly cigarette smoking (M=9.9 cigarettes/day, SD=6.4) completed a crossover study in which they each smoked a waterpipe for a maximum of 45 minutes, or a single cigarette. Outcome measures included expired-air carbon monoxide (CO) 5 minutes after session's end, and blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), plasma nicotine, heart rate, and puff topography. Data were collected in 2008-2009 and analyzed in 2009.
On average, CO increased by 23.9 ppm for waterpipe use (SD=19.8) and 2.7 ppm for cigarette smoking (SD=1.8), while peak waterpipe COHb levels (M=3.9%, SD=2.5) were three times those observed for cigarette smoking (M=1.3%, SD=0.5; p's<0.001). Peak nicotine levels did not differ (waterpipe M=10.2 ng/mL, SD=7.0; cigarette M=10.6 ng/mL, SD=7.7). Significant heart rate increases relative to pre-smoking were observed at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 35 minutes during the cigarette session and at 5-minute intervals during the waterpipe session (p's<0.001). Mean total puff volume was 48.6 L for waterpipe use as compared to 1.0 L for cigarette smoking (p<0.001).
Relative to cigarette smoking, waterpipe use is associated with greater CO, similar nicotine, and dramatically more smoke exposure. Physicians should consider advising their patients that waterpipe tobacco smoking exposes them to some of the same toxicants as cigarette smoking and therefore the two tobacco-smoking methods likely share some of the same health risks.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Waterpipe smoking has been described as "the second global tobacco epidemic since the cigarette." Both Middle Eastern ethnicity and having a friend of Middle Eastern ethnicity have been reported as significant predictors of waterpipe smoking. Addressing waterpipe smoking in this ethnic minority is essential to controlling this growing epidemic in the US. We investigated the predictors of an intention to quit waterpipe smoking by surveying 340 Arab American adults in the Houston area. Primary analyses were conducted using stepwise logistic regression. Only 27% of participants reported having an intention to quit waterpipe smoking. Intention to quit waterpipe smoking was significantly higher with history of cigar use, a prior attempt to quit, and not smoking when seriously ill and significantly lower with increasing age, medium cultural acceptability of using waterpipe among family, high cultural acceptability of using waterpipe among friends, longer duration of smoking sessions, and perceiving waterpipe smoking as less harmful than cigarettes. Educational programs that target Arab Americans in general, and specifically older adults, those who smoke waterpipe for more than 60 minutes, those whose family and friends approve waterpipe smoking, and those with no former attempts to quit, may be necessary to increase the intention to quit waterpipe smoking.
    01/2015; 2015:575479. DOI:10.1155/2015/575479
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene) concentrations, factors affecting their levels, and the exposure risks related to these compounds were studied in waterpipe (Ghalyun/Hookah) cafés of Ardabil city in Islamic Republic of Iran. 81 waterpipe cafés from different districts of Ardabil city were selected and their ambient air was monitored for BTEX compounds. Air samples were taken from standing breathing zone of employees, ~150cm above the ground level, and were analyzed using GC-FID. In each case, the types of smoked tobacco (regular, fruit flavored), types of ventilation systems (natural/artificial), and the floor level at which the café was located were investigated. A high mean concentration of 4.96±2.63mg/m(3) corresponding to long term exposure to benzene-related cancer risk of 4314×10(-6) was estimated. The levels of the remaining compounds were lower than the national guideline limits, but their hazard quotients (HQ) for long term exposure to ethylbenzene (1.15) and xylene (17.32) exceeded the HQ unit value. Total hazard indices (HI) of 63.23 were obtained for non-cancer risks. Type of the smoked tobacco was the most important factor influencing BTEX concentrations in the cafés. BTEX concentrations in indoor ambient air of Ardabil waterpipe cafés were noticeably high, and therefore may pose important risks for human health on both short and long term exposures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Science of The Total Environment 09/2015; 524–525(15):347–353. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.031 · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    The Open Epidemiology Journal 11/2012; 5(1):36-44. DOI:10.2174/1874297101205010036


Available from