This week I attended a party of a DJ pal held to celebrate his budding career.
He is a fellow scientist but he chose the path of music. He decided to follow his heart though his family was and is still up in arms against it.
This party was a ‘hush hush’ gig. Many of his close friends and rogue relatives who supported his ambition were secretly invited to keep the ghastly news from reaching his parents.
His father had sworn to strangle his gangster bum if he ever found out he followed his tattered, misguided heart,which got smashed several times by aspiring wives (five of them).
This was a weird party. It was like a chimney competition of “who huffed and puffed the biggest smoke cloud” into the congested atmosphere.
Several shisha smokers lined up along the walls, delightfully filling up their lungs with scented smoke and letting out a generous cloud from their mouths.
They were all tipsy. Empty beer cans and spirit bottles were in heaps at the centre of the room.
The party boy was busy spinning on his deck, clasping his headphones with his free hand moving to the rhythm.
I am neither a smoker nor a drinker, so I left the party due to the hazardous state.
This incident got me thinking about shisha:
What is shisha?
Shisha is basically tobacco mixed with sugar/molasses,fruit or honey.
Shisha smoking is also called hookah/ narghile/Waterpipe/Hubble bubble smoking.
It is a 100% natural product unlike manufactured cigars and cigarettes that have undergone refinement.
Shisha comes in a range of flavours that gives it an aromatic superiority over its counterparts; cigars and cigarettes.
Shisha smoking began in western provinces of India -Rajasthan and Gujarat. It has become popular all over the world today.
So why is shisha popular?
- Celebrities are smoking it
- It’s safer than cigarette and cigars
- It looks cool and is trendy
- It is quite fulfilling
- It comes in different flavors
- It is totally natural
- To try out something new
The real truth about shisha.
- It is not safe. The fate of Cigarette, cigar and shisha smokers is the same. In shisha the smoke passes through water. Some nicotine and heavy metals is absorbed but adequate amounts pass through and can cause cancer of the lung and mouth.
- Addiction is possible. The nicotine that is not filtered by water is enough to keep you wanting more and more and more and more…..
- Herbal shisha is not as safe as you think. Tobacco is tobacco, whether it is honey, mango, strawberry, apple, plum or mint flavoured.
- 1 puff of shisha=1 whole cigar, so 1 hour of smoking = 100 cigarettes. My dear friend , you will die by one year.
- Heavy metals,tar and carbon monoxide are present in the smoke. When the tobacco is burnt by charcoal, coal or wood, carbon monoxide is released together with the smoke and passes through the water where it is not absorbed. Tar and heavy metals escape the water barrier too and find their way into your lungs when you breathe the smoke in.
- A passive smoker is at risk like the active smoker. For a non smoker, inhaling shisha smoke is no different than smoking it. It goes directly into your lungs.
- Disease contraction. Shisha smokers usually share the pipe among themselves. The pipe can be a means of bacterial or viral transfers as it passes from one mouth to another. Examples of infections include :
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Common cold
Shisha is popular. It is legal and more shisha dens are springing up around institutions.
The question is….. Do you want to live a long healthy life or a few years of lung or mouth cancer and other health complications due to youthful explorations in the name of being trendy or cool?
I choose life.