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Why There Should be Stricter Regulations on Indoor Hookah use

Why There Should be Stricter Regulations on Indoor Hookah use
March 24
15:55 2016

Smoking hookah, along with E-cigarettes has the false connotation that they are better for your health. However, a new study revealed that the effects of Hookah are also detrimental.

Hookah bars and restaurants are often exempt from the clean indoor air laws that prevent the use of cigarettes inside establishments. But, this doesn’t mean they should be. The study showed that secondhand smoke exposure in these unregulated hookah bars are causing damage to the employees who work there.

The study, that was published in Tobacco Control, by Terry Gordon, PhD, along with some of his NYU School of Medicine colleagues, consisted of 10 test subjects, all non-smoking hookah bar workers. They found that their carbon monoxide levels rose significantly after their shifts. Two of the 10 workers had CO levels that matched the levels of heavy tobacco smokers. These CO levels were much higher after their work shift compared to pre-shift. Not to mention, heart rates were elevated post-shift as well.

Gordon’s group also collected air samples during the test subject’s work shifts, and the indoor air pollutant concentrations would vary depending on the number of people smoking the hookah. The researchers also noted that most of the lounges did not have ways to ventilate the smoke.

According to the National Cancer Institute, secondhand smoke exposure is still linked to 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 heart disease deaths of nonsmokers in the US. Hookah and E-cigarettes have grown in popularity due to the stigma of traditional cigarettes. As reported in a 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 14% of high schoolers have reported trying hookah pipes, while 5% admitted to using these pipes within the past month.

So with the alarming findings exposed in these studies, will there be a much needed change to clean indoor air laws to include these other forms of Tobacco usage? The researcher in the study have pointed out the same concern. “Hazards to workers in hookah bars raise the question of whether the use of these tobacco delivery systems should be restricted in public spaces, much as the demonstration of negative effects on the health of workers exposed to secondhand cigarettes smoke has done,” researchers wrote in the study.

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Kerri Adams

Kerri Adams

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