Experts warn of an unhealthy trend: more and more students are smoking shisha

Experts warn of an unhealthy trend: more and more students are smoking shisha

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Dangerous hookahs: One fifth of the students smoke shisha

Arabic hookahs are trendy. The associated health risks are often underestimated. And this despite the fact that numerous people have to be treated in the hospital every year after consuming the oriental pipes.

Carbon monoxide poisoning from hookah smoke

For years, experts have been pointing to an increased health risk from hookahs. The smoke is particularly dangerous for visitors to shisha bars. Because there the carbon monoxide values ​​are often alarmingly high. This also showed a message from the Düsseldorf University Hospital. A few weeks ago, the doctors reported that around 100 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning had already been treated in the special pressure chamber of the clinic in the past year to November.

Odorless gas is a health hazard

Carbon monoxide can block the transport of oxygen in the blood. Poisoning causes symptoms such as headache, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea and loss of consciousness, and even death from suffocation.

The tricky thing about hookah smoking is that the early signs of poisoning are mostly attributed to tobacco.

Since the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in closed rooms increases significantly, the risk according to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) should increase in the cold season.

In order to get a better grip on the problem, doctors have called for carbon monoxide detectors for shisha bars.

"Against the background of an increasing number of carbon monoxide poisonings in shisha bars and apartments with gas thermal baths, the medical profession in the Rhineland has asked the state government to make the installation of CO detectors in these buildings mandatory," wrote the North Rhine Medical Association in a message.

Every fifth student smokes a hookah

As the DAK reports, more children and adolescents in Germany have experience with hookahs than previously known.

22 percent of the students in grades five to ten have smoked tobacco from a shisha. Six percent consume regularly, i.e. at least once a month.

In grade ten, almost half of all students (47 percent) have experience with hookahs. This emerges from the 2017 DAK Prevention Radar, for which almost 7,000 students from more than 400 classes were interviewed.

The survey showed that the proportion of regular shisha consumers increased significantly from grade seven onwards: it quintupled within three school years.

While in class seven only two percent of the students smoke a shisha at least once a month, in class nine it is already ten percent. In grade ten, almost every second person has shisha experience.

One reason: sweet-fruity aromas that are added to tobacco make shishas appear harmless.

Dangerous temptation for teenagers

"Hookahs are a dangerous temptation for young people," said Andreas Storm, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit, about the results. "Many students are not aware of how harmful hookah smoking is."

In contrast to the cigarette, the tobacco in the hookah is not burned directly, but smudged at low temperatures. Water pipe charcoal is used to heat the tobacco. When coal is burned, considerable amounts of carbon monoxide are produced.

Experts believe that hookahs are hardly less harmful than cigarettes: According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), long-standing shisha smoking can worsen lung function and increase the risk of cancer. The cardiovascular system and oral health suffer. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Hookah. How Bad Is Hookah. Is Hookah Bad For You (August 2022).