1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

How shisha affects your body



Shisha smoking, also known as hookah or water pipe smoking, is popular in some social circles. Shisha is tobacco smoked through a water pipe, often flavored with molasses, honey, or fruit flavors. This can make shisha smoking more enjoyable, but it is important to be aware of the potential health risks. In this article, we will discuss these potential health effects associated with shisha smoking.

Definition of shisha

Shisha, also known as hookah or narghile, is a method of smoking tobacco through a plastic or metal water pipe. This popular form of tobacco smoking originated in the Middle East and has since spread worldwide. 

The practice involves the use of charcoal-heated air to draft flavored tobacco and cannabis through a hose or stem that is connected to other people and shared for communal puffing. The distinctive feature of shisha pipes is their multi-stemmed design, usually consisting of one main central stem attached to multiple outlets branching off like a tree. 

The main stem is connected to a wind cover, a bowl containing combustible fuel (i.e., charcoal, wood), and another bowl containing the tobacco mixture known as “shisha,” often including flavors such as mint, honey rose, or licorice. 

During this process of inhalation and exhalation, smoke passes through cooling chambers filled with flavored liquid – usually fruit juice concentrate – which creates an additional aromatic effect when breathed out again. Shisha pipes are generally enjoyed in social settings and are quite popular among Middle Eastern cultures due to their portability and convenience.

If you’re looking to celebrate with friends and family or want to treat yourself to a night out on the town, rent a shisha bar might be the perfect option. With so many options available, knowing where to start when choosing a shisha bar can take a lot of work.

Shisha provides an easy way for people to partake in communal entertainment, and its variety of flavors appeals to people of all ages regardless of their general background or culture.

Overview of health risks associated with shisha

Shisha, also known as hookah, waterpipe, narghile, and Goza smoking, involves using a multi-stemmed instrument to smoke flavored tobacco or herbal mixtures. It is commonly used to share the smoking experience with others in social settings.

However, individuals should be aware of the potential health risks associated with shisha use due to its various components and toxins present in the smoked material. This guide presents an overview of the health risks associated with shisha use. It will also provide information on its mechanisms of action and how it differs from cigarette smoke in terms of chemicals and/or compounds produced by the burning process.

Additionally, recommendations may be provided for those looking to minimize their risk from potential health hazards when consuming shisha products. Shisha is traditionally composed of a combination of tobacco with natural or artificial flavorings added for taste. The traditional ingredients for Shisha include tobacco (typically a blend), molasses (a syrup-like substance), honey or fruit pulp, glycerin (an edible sweetening agent), and odorless charcoal for flavoring/coloring/heating purposes.

The most common flavorings used are apple, grape, mint, licorice, jasmine, cherry, and blended mixtures. In addition to these ingredients, other harmful substances, including heavy metals, nicotine, phenolic compounds, and Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene or formaldehyde, cause adverse effects on health.

Both inhaled and secondhand smoke can increase an individual’s risk for developing infections like pneumonia or tuberculosis and cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. It has also been linked to certain cancers affecting the lung, bladder, tongue, and throat. 

More individual exposure assessment studies are needed to determine more accurately what levels of health were reached while using it, but they do seem worse than ordinary cigarettes.

Short-Term Health Effects

When it comes to the health effects of shisha, it is important to understand the short-term effects of smoking it. Smoking shisha includes inhaling smoke from heated tobacco and inhaling flavoring agents added to the mixture that can be potentially harmful. Short-term health effects of shisha include coughing and respiratory issues, increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased risk of developing certain cancers, and dizziness.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

The inhalation of shisha smoke can increase the risks associated with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and very toxic gas. When inhaled, it binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells, blocking oxygen from being distributed throughout the body. 

Having a high level of CO in the bloodstream can cause headaches, dizziness, vomiting and confusion at lower levels and death at higher levels. Even after just a few puffs on a shisha pipe, carbon monoxide levels will rise within minutes. 

The effects of CO poisoning can be especially dangerous to unborn babies as it reduces oxygen flow to fetal blood vessels when breathed by a pregnant woman or through second-hand smoke.

Nicotine addiction

Shisha often contains nicotine, a highly-addictive substance that can cause serious health problems over time. The amount of nicotine present in shisha varies depending on the tobacco used and the smoker’s technique, but even small doses can be enough to begin affecting a user’s brain. It can lead to Tourette syndrome, anxiety symptoms, irritability, impaired cognitive functions, and compulsive behaviors. 

Over time, nicotine addiction causes changes in an individual’s central nervous system structure and function, inhibiting how well they can think clearly, reason out decisions or remember memories accurately. Nicotine also causes physical dependence with withdrawal effects that can include agitation, depression, feeling fatigued, and restlessness. 

Long-term use may even increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer by up to thirty percent compared to those who do not use shisha or other tobacco products.


Respiratory problems

Shisha smoking is associated with several short-term health effects, particularly those on the lungs and respiratory system. Even when it passes through the water, tobacco smoke contains many of the same toxicants as cigarettes and cigar smoke. These toxicants can cause inflammation of the airways and lead to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. 

Short-term exposure to shisha smoke can cause chest tightness or a burning sensation in your throat or chest. In addition, shisha smoke contains higher concentrations of carbon monoxide than cigarette smoke – up to 90 minutes of shisha smoking has been found to result in elevated levels of this dangerous gas in participants’ blood samples.

Long-term health effects from shisha smoking include an increased risk of developing chronic bronchitis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), tuberculosis, mouth cancer, and other cancers such as lung or breast cancer.

Long-Term Health Effects

Shisha, also known as hookah, is a smoking device popular in many parts of the world. It’s made up of a water container, bowl, and hose used to inhale burning coal or wood smoke. While shisha smoking may not seem as dangerous as smoking cigarettes and other traditional forms of smoking, it still has the potential to have serious health consequences. This article will explore the long-term health effects of shisha.


Smoking shisha has been linked to various long-term health effects, including the most serious cancer. Smoking shisha has been demonstrated to produce many of the same carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes.

Evidence suggests that exposure to these compounds increases an individual’s risk for several types of cancer, including nicotine-related cancers and cancers related to exposure to other chemicals present in shisha smoke. Some researchers suggest that shisha smokers may be at greater risk for developing some types of cancer than cigarette smokers due to longer periods of inhalation.

Shisha smoking has also been linked to several short-term adverse health conditions, including lung and heart disease. In addition, toxins in shisha smoke have been associated with birth defects, preterm delivery, and worse postnatal outcomes among infants born to women who smoked shisha while pregnant. Shisha smoking also increases the risk for infections such as tuberculosis (TB) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Finally, shisha smoking can impair development among adolescent users and increase the risk for oral cancer or oral soft tissue lesions over time.

Heart and circulatory problems

Shisha smoke contains many of the same toxic compounds as cigarette smoke, including carbon monoxide, nicotine, and heavy metals. Even after adjusting for smoking cigarettes and other risk factors which could lead to heart and circulatory problems, there is still a significant association between shisha smoking and a heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases. Chemicals released from charcoal fumes in shisha can also cause an increase in oxidative stress, inflammation, and damage to artery walls.

Carbon monoxide is highly toxic when breathed in, reducing oxygen availability for your tissues. It also increases your risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can lead to strokes or heart attacks. In addition, smoking shisha is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) — a major contributing factor to heart disease or stroke.

Toxic compounds from shisha smoke may also increase inflammation throughout the body, damage blood vessels, and constrict them, which restricts blood flow throughout our bodies resulting in serious damage to our cardiovascular system over time.

Reproductive health problems

Smoking shisha has been linked to many longer-term health effects, especially in reproductive health. Due to the greater smoke and higher temperature of shisha compared to cigarettes, nearly all of the shisha’s components are more readily absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in increased risks for cancer, strokes, heart disease, and other organ damage.

Short-term health risks also commonly associated with smoking shisha include eye and ear infections and an increased risk for infertility. In addition to heightened exposure to direct smoke from shishas, individuals who smoke or are exposed often experience numerous side effects from secondary smoking due to its dense airborne particulate matter that can be breathed in by those around them; these health risks include a greater danger for respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Reproductive health problems can be twice as likely among active or secondary smokers due to genetic predispositions caused by prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide.

Additional problems that may arise from extended use include ectopic pregnancies; decreased fertility among men and women; pre-term labor among pregnant women who smoke; and even reduced birth weight in babies born to shisha smokers.

In conclusion, smoking shisha has many negative health effects. The smoke in shisha contains many of the same toxins as cigarettes, and sessions can last up to an hour, making shisha smoking even more dangerous to health than cigarettes. 

Like cigarettes, shisha smokers are at risk of contracting lung cancer, respiratory infections, and other illnesses associated with smoking.

Furthermore, shisha is often shared, boosting the number of people exposed to second-hand smoke. The potential adverse health effects of shisha smoking have serious implications for the health of those exposed to it.

Summary of health risks associated with shisha

Shisha, also known as waterpipe or hookah smoking, has become increasingly popular in recent years and is often believed to be less harmful than cigarettes. However, research indicates that the smoke from all forms of tobacco contains many of the same toxicants and carcinogens found in cigarettes. 

In addition, shisha smokers may be exposed to higher concentrations of these substances due to the smoke being inhaled from a much deeper level during shisha sessions. Studies have shown that shisha users may be exposed to significantly higher levels of certain toxic metals and particulate matter than cigarette smokers. 

Shisha smoking is also a serious health risk for those who use it occasionally – occasional users are just as likely as regular users to be exposed to hazardous chemicals. However, their overall exposure levels may not be as high as regular users. Additionally, shared mouthpieces between multiple users can increase the risk of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and tuberculosis passing between them.

Despite its misunderstood reputation among recreational smokers, evidence suggests that shisha smoking is not a harmless habit and should not be considered an alternative or safer option than other tobacco use.

Recommendations for reducing health risks associated with shisha

Although research on the health risks associated with shisha smoking is still limited, it is clear that shisha smoking poses many of the same health risks as tobacco smoking. Because of this, reducing the amount of time spent using shisha and using natural tobacco instead of flavored tobacco are two recommended measures to reduce these health risks.

Other recommendations include discouraging young people from starting to smoke shisha and encouraging those who currently smoke shisha to quit. 

Additionally, avoiding inhaling deeply while smoking and avoiding sharing hoses between smokers should be encouraged, as this can increase the risk for secondhand smoke-related diseases. Finally, governments should implement public campaigns that raise awareness of the potential dangers of shisha smoking and provide support for shisha smokers wanting to quit or reduce their tobacco use. These interventions should target bars where hookah is offered, and resources should be directed toward providing cessation services and counseling in these areas specifically.