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HHS HealthBeat (June 12, 2014)

Hookah and cancer

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates young adults may increase their risk of cancer by using a waterpipe, or hookah.  

At the University of California, San Francisco, researcher Gideon St. Helen found that, after a single evening of water pipe smoking in a hookah bar, young adults had up to a 91 percent increase in breakdown products of compounds that are known to cause cancer.

St. Helen says smoking using a hookah isn’t any better than smoking cigarettes.

“Hookah smoking is not a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Hookah users are exposed to some of the same toxic compounds that are present in cigarette smoke.”

The study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 12, 2014