Hookah Less Harmful Than Cigarettes: Study

Mumbai: Smoking a "hookah" may be less harmful than a cigarette as it contains lower levels of four toxic metals, claims a new international study released here Monday.

A team of scientists, headed by Joseph Caruso of American Chemical Society and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, conducted the study on 12 different varieties of hookah tobacco manufactured in the US and Middle East and broke it down to liquid form.

"The test results revealed that hookah tobacco contained fewer toxic metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and chromium as compared to cigarette tobacco," a spokesperson said.

The outcome of the research was presented to the American Chemical Society (ACS) at its recent meeting, the spokesperson added.

Unlike popular belief that the difference could be due to filtering smoke through water, the research team's finding points to the composition of the hookah shisha itself.

The tobacco for hookah contains molasses, honey and flavouring agents which have lower levels of toxic metals.

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Source: IANS