Believe it or not, there is an alarmingly high number of middle and high school students who are trying smoking, using a hookah according to a recent article in the Florida Trend. Hookah smoking involves smoking flavored tobacco with a water pipe.
The cooler smoke gives the impression that the smoking is less dangerous, but research indicates hookah smoking is just as dangerous as cigarettes. The journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, reports hookah smoking delivers up to four times the nicotine as a cigarette, 11 times the carbon monoxide, and 72 times the tar.
And forget the idea that the water is filtering out the toxins, says University of Florida’s department of health professor, Tracey Barnett.
When a hookah business wanted to open in St. Augustine, the city council discouraged it, saying they would close it down.
At the Casbah Café, smokers receive a warning on a card that explains the dangers of hookah smoking. It says this is a tobacco product and carries the same risks as smoking. But that has not deterred high school students.
Florida tobacco litigation attorneys are concerned about a 2009 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey that found that 14.2% of high school girls, and 17.3% of high school boys had used a hookah to smoke tobacco at least once.