Don't Get Too Attached to That Hookah | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Don't Get Too Attached to That Hookah

A host of recent studies refute the notion that smoking tobacco from a hookah—essentially a water pipe—is any safer than smoking cigarettes or glass pipes.


Popular new accessory.
Photo via cigarettesflavours

By Dirk Hanson


| Share

We typically think of hookahs as exotic multi-hosed, three-foot water pipes featured in books and movies about ancient Turkish caliphs and evil Arab viziers. But for the past few years the hookah has been enjoying a popular stateside revival. Hundreds of Hookah bars have sprung to life in major North American cities, supported  by college-age smokers and former tokers. But not everyone is celebrating their arrival. Last Friday, the Connecticut Legislature’s Public Health Committee passed a measure that would ban any hookah lounges from operating in the state--in an attempt to prevent hookah bars from circumventing smoking laws, much like “cigar bars” have attempted to do. More young people are becoming convinced that hookahs are a “safe” alternative to cigarettes, joints, or conventional bongs. But just because your dried vegetable matter gets detoured through a vessel of water and a long hose, doesn’t mean the bad stuff gets filtered out. According to researchers at the University of California San Diego, “longer hookah smoking sessions, combined with increased smoke volume, makes it potentially more dangerous than cigarettes.” And a just-released study from the University of Florida shows that people leaving hookah bars have carbon monoxide levels three times higher than people leaving regular bars where smoking is allowed. Finally, Mayo Clinic notes that there is an extra threat of “infectious disease” posed by using public hookahs that may not have been cleaned properly. Are you sure you don't want that pack of Camels instead?

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv