VIDEO: Lawmakers, Health Experts Agree Being Hooked On Hookah Can Be Harmful | Cigarettes Blog

Friday, July 29, 2011

VIDEO: Lawmakers, Health Experts Agree Being Hooked On Hookah Can Be Harmful

Lawmakers and health advocates are taking increased efforts to crack down on hookah cigarettes smoking, saying it is just another harmful cheap cigarettes trend. NY1's Health reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.

Hookah, a type of water pipe smoking where herbal tobacco often infused with a fruity taste or smell, is popular in many city bars. The smoke is heated, passed through water and sucked through a hose out of a mouthpiece.

Assaad Yacoub, 22, says he started smoking around the age of 16 in his native Lebanon, but he is well aware of the risk. But what is rooted in tradition for him and a lot of his Middle Eastern friends has become increasingly popular among his peers in the United States too. . . .

At East Village's Horus Cafe, the staff argues that getting hooked on hookah cannot possibly be as bad as a pack-a-day cigarette habit. "Cigarette, you smoke cigarette, you throw it in the street. Here you've got to sit, you've got to give yourself time, you know? Enjoy life for five to 10 minutes," says Horus spokesman Mahmoud Gamaa.

They also say the products they use are tobacco and nicotine free, but some of them still carry a Surgeon General's warning. Doctors say no matter what, the act of smoking can still increase carbon monoxide levels, increase blood pressure and cause some of the same long-term consequences cigarette smoking does, like heart and lung disease.

Despite their love for the habit and the business it brings, hookah bar owners are supportive of a law just signed by the governor that will keep minors from smoking hookah.

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