While the popularity of sheesha (tobacco pipe) has increased in recent years, researchers said it may be more dangerous than other forms of smoking tobacco.
Using a custom-built testing device, the researchers analysed emissions during a typical sheesha session and found that one draw from a pipe contained as many noxious substances as a cigarette.
Veronique Perraud from the University of California said that the Hookah mainstream smoke, which is directly inhaled, has many toxic and harmful chemicals, like nicotine that can lead to tobacco addiction, irritating carbonyl compounds, and benzene, a known carcinogen.
Perraud said that due to the greater volume inhaled in every puff and the longer duration of a smoking session, the hookah often delivers a higher dose of those chemicals to the smoker.
It also produced a large quantity of carbon monoxide, mainly from the burning of charcoal to heat the tobacco or herbal mixture in its bowl.
According to the study, minuscule particles can pose significant health risks by making their way deep into the pulmonary system and by readily crossing the blood-brain barrier.