Health experts dispel the myth of smoking alternative

Electronic cigarette (WISH Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (The Exponent) – Health risks of alternatives to unhealthy habits may be just as dangerous.

The anti-tobacco campaign has been widely regarded as successful by many. The number of cigarette smokers is down and tobacco sales have decreased nation-wide according to the Center for Disease Control, and more public places are prohibiting smoking due to second hand smoke.

As a result, new forms of smoking have been introduced, such as hookah, steam stones and hookah pens. But the health risks of alternatives may be just as dangerous as cigarettes.

“Compared to the urine samples collected after a week of not smoking, the urine sample collected after the evening of hookah smoking had … two times higher levels of NNAL, a breakdown product of a tobacco-specific chemical called NNK, which can cause lung and pancreatic cancers; and 14 percent to 91 percent higher levels of breakdown products of volatile organic compounds such as benzene and acrolein, which are known to cause cancer, heart and lung diseases,” Healthday News reported.

Because of the way a hookah is used, smokers may absorb more of the toxic substances, also found in cigarettes, more than cigarette smokers. So while Americans are making an honest effort to be health conscious, they seem to be replacing it with an equally abusive substance.

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