Individuals working at shisha cafes are more likely to have lung and heart disease than those who are not part of such work force, according to a new survey.
Shisha smoking is growing trend worldwide particularly in the western countries. It is often labeled as a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. Shisha, also known as hookah, is a water pipe of Middle Eastern origin, which is used to smoke tobacco with flavors including apple, grape, cherry and watermelon.
The health officials describe the shisha as “at least as toxic as cigarette smoking. Previous survey showed that one shisha session delivers about 125 times the smoke of one cigarette.
A team of researchers from College of Global Public Health, New York examined 10 shisha café employees from four different bars at the end of their work shift. The investigators found that the employees had higher levels of toxins and inflammatory markers usually associated with and pulmonary and cardiac disorders.
Moreover, some of the participants had toxin levels similar to heavy cigarette smokers. The scientists also discovered the workers had inhaled high levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine while doing their job. The blood levels of inflammatory mediators were also higher at the end of the shift, putting them at risk of heart disease and cancer.
“Hookah use is often exempt from clean indoor air laws that protect people from secondhand smoke. Ours is the first study that links poor hookah bar air quality to damaging effects in workers and the results recommend closer monitoring of this industry to protect the public, said Dr. Terry Gordon, a toxicologist and senior study author.
The most notable health risks of water pipe smoking include exposure to toxic chemicals that are not filtered by water and risk of infectious disease when hookahs are shared. Despite of aforementioned health risks, the hookah cafes around the world are becoming more and more popular. IMAGE/HuffingtonPost