The effects of hookah/waterpipe smoking on general health and the cardiovascular system
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
© 2019 The Author(s). Hookah or waterpipe smoking or use is an emerging trend in the US population, especially among the youth. The misperception of hookah being less harmful than cigarettes and the availability of different but "appealing" flavors are considered among the main reasons for this trend. Hookah users however are exposed to many of the same toxic compounds/by-products as cigarette users, but at dramatically higher levels, which might lead to more severe negative health effects. In fact, hookah users are at risks of infections, cancers, lung disease, and other medical conditions. Moreover, because of the overlapping toxicant/chemical profile to conventional cigarettes, hookah smoke effects on the cardiovascular system are thought to be comparable to those of conventional cigarettes. A major source of tobacco addiction is nicotine, whose levels in hookah are extremely variable as they depend on the type of tobacco used. Taken together, in this review of literature, we will provide insights on the negative health effects of hookah in general, with a focus on what is known regarding its impact on the cardiovascular system.