lundi 15 septembre 2014

Cameroon: WHO Warns Against Water-Pipe Smoking

© George MBELLA /

In several neighbourhoods of the capital city, Yaounde, youth these days are often seen in a growing number of pubs, smoking from tubes connected to an unusual type of designed "jar" containing flavoured tobacco and water.
The new kind of water-pipe smoking, also called Shisha or Hookah, is said to be risk-free according to promoters who have introduced the practice into the country. This cannot be true, for the World Health Organisation (WHO) has for several years now been warning that water-pipe smoking is dangerous to health.
"Contrary to ancient lore and popular belief, the smoke that emerges from a water pipe contains numerous toxicants known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and other diseases," WHO said. In its "advisory note," the UN health agency warned that using water-pipes to consume tobacco, which is commonly mixed with molasses and fruit flavours, usually exposes a person to more smoke over a longer period of time than do cigarettes.

While noting that the trend is partly due to "unfounded assumptions" of its safety, and misleading commercial marketing, WHO said a person can inhale more than 100 times more smoke in a hookah session than in a single cigarette and that by delivering nicotine, the water-pipe can cause addiction.
In the same vein, the US-based Centre for Disease Control, CDC, says that similar to cigarettes, hookah smoking delivers the addictive drug, nicotine and it is as toxic as cigarette smoking. According to a study published in the 2012 issue of CDC's Preventing Chronic Disease, hookah smoke has been associated with lung cancer, respiratory illness, low birth weight and periodontal disease.

The charcoal used to heat tobacco in the water-pipe increases the health risks by producing smoke that contains high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and cancer-causing chemicals, the study said.

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