Shisha – also called hookah, narghile, waterpipe or hubble bubble – is a way of smoking tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through a bowl and hose. Shisha smoking is traditionally used by people from Middle Eastern or Asian communities but is becoming increasingly popular among all groups in cities and towns across the UK.
A World Health Organisation study has suggested that during one session on a Shisha pipe (around 20 to 80 minutes) a person can inhale the same amount of smoke as a cigarette smoker consuming 100 or more cigarettes. Smoke from shisha also contains nicotine, cancer-causing chemicals and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.
Some facts about shisha:
- The water does not filter out harmful chemicals
- The flavourings and sweeteners only disguise the harmful ingredients in tobacco
- The water cools the smoke making it less irritating, but not less harmful
- Like cigarettes, shisha tobacco contains nicotine, which is addictive