Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found that smoking hookah for 30 minutes resulted in the development of cardiovascular risk factors similar to that of cigarette smoking, thereby implying that smoking hookah is more hazardous to one’s health. The study showed that a single session of hookah smoking increased heart rate (by 16 beats per minute) and blood pressure; and significantly increased measures of arterial stiffness, a key risk factor in the development of cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack or stroke.
The increase in arterial stiffness was comparable to data seen from cigarette smokers after smoking a cigarette.
Earlier studies have shown that cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and most recently e-cigarettes produce similar rates of arterial stiffening seen in this hookah use study. However, hookah smoking remains more popular, due to marketing efforts as well as social trends.
In previous studies, when participants were asked why hookah smoking was more attractive than cigarette smoking, 48 percent of them replied that it was because of the fruity flavors and smells.
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