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HHS HealthBeat (July 8, 2014)

Hookah pollution

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

Hookahs are not air filters, and air quality tests inside hookah bars have found some pretty gunky stuff. Researcher Patrick Breysse of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health checked the air in some Baltimore hookah bars:

“We found disturbing levels of pollutants in the hookah bars, which suggest that the air quality is not safe for people who are working there and for people who are nonsmokers within the hookah bars.”

That’s secondhand smoke, so imagine what hookah smokers breathe.  Breysse says hookah tobacco smoke has many of the same pollutants as cigarettes, and notably has a big dose of carbon monoxide from the burning coals that heat the tobacco.

The study in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 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: July 8, 2014