The Dangers of Smoking Hubbly Bubbly (Hookah Pipe)

The dangers of the Hookah Pipe / Oka Pipe / Hubbly Bubbly

The hookah pipe is becoming more and more popular amongst the young people of South Africa. It is usually seen as a social practice and has in many places become a culture and has gained tremendous popularity. The hookah pipe is especially very popular amongst the Cape Malay and Indian population. But sadly enough, young people are not always exposed to and aware of the dangers of smoking the hookah pipe.

What is the hookah pipe?

The hookah pipe consists of a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe and a hose. The tobacco is heated by means of a coal and the smoke then passes through the water where it is drawn into a rubber hose to a mouth piece. The hookah pipe can be used with various sweet and fruity flavoured tobacco and different drugs such as dagga and heroin are often mixed with the tobacco to enhance the effect.

Hookah pipe versus cigarettes

Smoking the hookah pipe is dangerous and just as potent as cigarette smoking. Although it is commonly believed that the water in the hookah pipe filters out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke, it is not the case. The smoke is only cooled down which makes it feel less harsh. Hookah pipe smokers actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers because of the large volume of smoke that is inhaled in one smoking session which can last from 45 to as long as 60 minutes. In one session, a hookah pipe smoker takes about 100 puffs while a cigarette smoker takes about 10 puffs per cigarette. Therefore, smoking one hookah pipe gives you as much nicotine as smoking 10 cigarettes. The “tar” in tobacco smoke in a typical hookah pipe smoking session is 36 times more than in a cigarette. The hookah pipe is just as addictive as cigarettes.

The dangers of the hookah pipe

There are many dangers involved when smoking the hookah pipe:

• It damages your lungs (breathing becomes painful)

• Can cause cancer of the mouth, lungs and bladder

• Can cause a heart attack

• The risk of heart disease, lung disease and of developing cancer is higher than that of smoking cigarettes

• Contains high levels of toxic compounds such as tar and carbon monoxide (car exhaust)

• Although it delivers less nicotine as compared to cigarettes, because of the length of one session, the nicotine inhaled is equal or more than with a cigarette.

• Oka pipe smoking by pregnant women can result in stunted growth in in babies.

• Risk of spreading infectious diseases like tuberculosis and viruses such as hepatitis and herpes by sharing the tube• Highly addictive

The hookah pipe is therefore extremely dangerous and destructive to a person’s body. It is a highly addictive and dangerous drug that should be avoided. Even if you are already using it, it is never too late to quit!


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