Doctors say more teens are smoking hookah - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Doctors say more teens are smoking hookah

Hookah pipes (Source: CBS) Hookah pipes (Source: CBS)

According to a new medical study, one in five high school seniors have used a hookah pipe in the last year and many are naive about the risks.

"They think that it's not harmful because it passes through water and has less smoke associated with it," says Doctor Margaret Stager with MetroHealth Hospital.

Hookah smoking is unregulated by the FDA and is actually more harmful than cigarettes.

"It's been found in research that hookah smoking contains tar and nicotine and carbon monoxide levels higher than cigarette smoke," says Dr. Stager.

Also, hookah users smoke for up to 80 minutes, compared to a cigarette which may last 15 minutes.

"There may be 20 puffs with a cigarette, but there may be 200 puffs with a hookah user. There are great disparities in the amount of exposure to toxic agents," says Dr. Stager.

Another concern is that hookah bars are popping up around many college campuses.

"Many of the young adults think at least I'm not drinking, at least I'm not doing drugs, I'm in the hookah bar. When in fact, the tobacco that's being smoked there is the same addiction as the tobacco that's in a cigar or cigarette," adds Dr. Stager.

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