BHF warns of shisha risk on No Smoking Day
Post by John Chappels
on 14 March 2012 in Health & Wellbeing
A UK health charity has used national No Smoking Day to warn about the risks posed by shisha pipes.
Figures suggest there has been a 210 per cent increase in the number of shisha bars across 133 UK local authorities over the past five years. Shisha smoking involves inhaling flavoured tobacco through a water pipe, and while the practice looks considerably different to cigarette smoking, health dangers remain, according to the British Heart Foundation.
Some shisha bars use a herbal alternative to tobacco, but the charity said people smoking using the traditional Middle Eastern pipes may not know the difference and unwittingly expose themselves to the same risks of developing life-threatening diseases as cigarette smokers. It has urged users to think about their health and use No Smoking Day to quit smoking for good.
BHF associate medical director Dr Mike Knapton said: "Contrary to popular belief, shisha is not safer than smoking cigarettes. Don't be duped by the sweet smell and wholesome sounding fruity flavours, if you use shisha you are a smoker and that means you're putting your health at risk."
A survey conducted by the BHF of more than 2,200 people found that 13 per cent didn't know using shisha could pose a risk to health. Less than half of those surveyed knew it could contain tobacco.
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