On College Campuses, Hookahs Are Being Smoked Out


If you are concerned about your health, step away from the hookah.  The belief that the ornate water pipes are far safer than cigarettes may be going up in smoke.  Researchers found that the water in the hookah only filters 5 percent of the nicotine contained in the smoke.

Hookahs are gaining in popularity on college campuses across the country and the American Lung Association is making anti-hookah legislation a top priority.

“Teens and young adults are initiating tobacco use through these hookahs with the mistaken perception that the products are somehow safer or less harmful than cigarettes,” Paul G. Billings, a vice president of the American Lung Association, told the New York Times. “Clearly that’s not the case.”

The danger lies in how hookahs are smoked.  Hookah sessions usually last about an hour as hoses attached to the pipe are passed around.  In a typical session a smoker could inhale the equivalent of 100 cigarettes while also exposing themselves to tuberculosis and herpes through the communal hoses.

Cities are beginning to take notice, passing ordinances to limit the amount of new hookah bars opening and college campuses are rewriting anti-smoking rules to outlaw hookahs.

To fight the bans, pro-hookah organizations have sprung up on Facebook and former other interest groups.

Published by

Ryan Schill

Ryan Schill is the editor of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. In 2012 he wrote a comics journalism piece about the ongoing U.S. immigration debate, published in partnership with Cartoon Movement. His 2011 story about a case of misdiagnosed child abuse won first place in the non-deadline writing category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Ryan is completing his MA in professional writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has a BS in media studies. His research interests include experimental journalism forms, journalism ethics and philosophy, theories of literary journalism and the intersections of social justice and journalism.

One thought on “On College Campuses, Hookahs Are Being Smoked Out”

  1. I have actually tried water pipes once in egypt a couple of years ago and that session lasted for about 10-15 minutes and not an hour. I had no idea about the dangers of them and that they do not filter more than 5 percent of the nicotine. 100 cigarettes in one single session sounds outrageous, though. But as far as I know, nicotine isn’t the most dangerous substance to inhale from tobacco or am I wrong?

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