Why smoking Shisha is 10 times more harmful than cigarettes?

A Qatar-based consultant physician has said that one session of shisha smoking is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes.

Dr Ahmed Al Mulla, Consultant Physician and Head of Smoking Cessation Clinic at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said smoking shisha can be ten times more harmful than cigarette smoking, according to a report in The Peninsula.

“Unfortunately many people think that shisha is less dangerous. But it can be 10 times harmful than cigarettes,” Dr Al Mulla told a press conference held at HMC.

He said that while cigarettes have a filter, the smoke from shisha passes directly into the mouth, throat and lungs.

In order to produce more accurate findings on the effects of shisha on people’s health, HMC and American University in Beirut are conducting a clinical study, which will examine the adverse effects of tobacco use on heart, blood vessels and the respiratory system. The three-year study, which began in April 2013, is funded by Qatar National Research Fund.

Recent statistics show that 37 percent of those aged 15 and above in Qatar are smokers, with 95 percent of those male. The statistics also reveal that 15 percent of schoolchildren (boys and girls) in grade seven (aged 12 and above) also smoke.