The General Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands recommends prohibiting the consumption of shishas in closed places, due to the high toxicity contained in the smoke produced by these devices. So says Antonio Torres, a physician responsible for the Program for Prevention and Control of Smoking of the regional body. "The amount of toxic substances that are generated in pipes is enormous, because water is not able to filter gases and fine particles, these are the most carcinogenic," says the professional. Therefore, as he explains, the consumer of shishas It would be incorporating "at least five times more carbon monoxide than through a conventional cigarette" into your body.
Based on the doctor's testimony, cigarettes have a filter that is much more effective than water in filtering gases. However, many of the people who use the water pipe have "the false belief" that it is a healthier way of smoking, because they have a large variety of nicotine-free flavored tobacco and herbs. They are specially designed to be used by means of this instrument. "We know that nicotine is an addictive substance that also accelerates heart rate and raises blood pressure, but we must bear in mind that if it does not contain it, the incomplete combustion of any vegetable also produces carbon monoxide, tars and carcinogenic substances. like nitrosamine ", highlights the person in charge of the preventive program.
Faced with this reality, the medical specialist believes that Law 42/2010 of December 30, which served to amend the regulations 28/2005, of December 26, of sanitary measures against smoking and regulating the sale, supply, consumption and the advertising of tobacco products, is insufficient "to allow the consumption of shishas with non-nicotine products in closed public places. "In this way," passive smokers are unprotected, just as it was years ago when it was legal to consume tobacco inside these spaces, "he says.
The affirmations of the professional go hand in hand with the alerts that the World Health Organization (WHO) when warning of the "false innocuousness" of these devices. But Torres goes further and believes that another aspect to be taken into account by users of popular hookahs is to maintain proper hygiene of the nozzles. "The consumption of shishas It is usual, especially among those under 25 years. They usually smoke in groups, and the members pass the nozzles to each other. It should be noted that this action can lead to the transmission of oral diseases, and if not cleaned well, there is a risk of fungal contamination, "he stresses.
For his part, Dr. Jorge Lopez, a specialist in Pneumology and head of the Anti-Smoking Unit of the University Hospital Insular-Maternal Infantile Complex of the capital of Gran Canaria, emphasizes that the cachimbas "operate through a closed circuit". A feature that makes all the elements that are inhaled through it "go straight to the user's mouth".
With regard to flavoring substances, "it must be said that they are the result of an increase in glycerol levels". A circumstance that under the criterion of the head of the Antibáquica Unit of the capital hospital "borders the law". These are components that have been eradicated from traditional cigarettes, "and that give a nicer flavor to tobacco and herbs, in addition to making the product falsely more benign."
Precisely, on the aromatizers and glycerin, the health professional emphasizes "its high dangerousness" once they have accessed the respiratory tract. "This action can lead to pneumonia in users and other serious diseases, so I want to deny that this way of consuming tobacco is less toxic than traditional," says the doctor. To then add that, "there are studies, even, that show that the damage can become much greater."
Following this line, the own WHO has come to ensure that the hookahs have "high levels of carcinogenic substances" that are very dangerous and harmful to the cardiovascular and respiratory system of individuals. While maintaining that there are no objective data showing that tobacco smoked with shisha -Although it is free of nicotine- "it is less harmful than a common cigarette".