Smoking trendy hookah pipes can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke by causing deadly blood clots, scientists fear.
The table pipes are considered ‘healthier’ because the smoke passes through the water before it is inhaled.
But for the first time research in mice has shown that water pipe smoke causes blood cells to become ‘hyperactive’.
Experiments led by the University of Texas showed that the blood of the rodents solidified five times faster than normal.
Experts have not investigated whether the clots caused a heart attack or strokes, but they are a known cause of the heart attacks by blocking blood vessels.
The findings suggest that shisha is no less dangerous than smoking traditional cigarettes, a habit that is already known to threaten heart health.
Smoking trendy water pipes with water pipes can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes by causing deadly blood clots, scientists have warned. Music artist Drake is a fan of bongs
The findings suggest that shisha is no less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, which are known to threaten cardiovascular health. Model Bella Hadid, depicted with a water pipe, is one of the many celebrities who hang out in water pipe lounges
Shisha tobacco smoke – enjoyed by singer Klie Minogue in the photo – ensured that the blood of mice thickened 27 times faster than normal in a study at the University of Texas at El Paso
Dr. Fadi Khasawneh, co-author of the study, said: “The smoking of hookahs, which is becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, is considered less harmful than cigarettes.
‘However, water pipes have a toxic profile that is thought to be comparable or even greater than that of traditional cigarettes.
“Our findings provide new evidence that hookah smoking is just as unhealthy, if not more than traditional cigarettes.”
Hookah pipes have grown in popularity in recent years, with figures suggesting that one fifth of young people in the US and Europe use them.
Famous soccer players and celebrities – including Bella Hadid, Drake and Kylie Minogue – have also been seen using them.
Hookah is an old form of smoking in which charcoal-heated tobacco or shisha-based tobacco is passed through water before inhalation.
Cigarette smoking alone is already known as an important risk factor for a stroke, because the murderer’s habit thickens the blood.
Previous studies have suggested that smoking water pipes also threatens cardiovascular health.
But this is the first to demonstrate the effect on blood. It was published in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)
Mice were exposed to water pipe smoke from a smoke machine every day in the laboratory for a week.
WHAT IS HOOKAH?
Hookah is an old form of smoking, also known as narghile, hookah or bubbles with bubbles, which uses charcoal-heated tobacco or shisha-based tobacco that is passed through water before inhalation.
It is often seen as less toxic compared to cigarettes, in addition to e-cigarettes and vapors.
The available sweet flavors make shisha smoking desirable, especially the young people – about half of the smoking teens are this way.
Hookah smokers can spend long time in lounges and bars inhaling the fumes.
A typical one-hour water pipe session consists of 200 puffs, which breathe in 90,000 milliliters of smoke.
When smoking a cigarette, 20 puffs are needed, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, results in the inhalation of 500 – 600 milliliters of smoke.
World champion sprinter Usain Bolt and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero are both depicted as smoking shisha.
And musicians like Drake, Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue have all been depicted with a water pipe in recent years.
But more and more evidence shows that smoking shisha is not safe.
The smoke machine used 12 g of flavored tobacco with nicotine and tar, typical of what you see in a conventional arrangement of water pipes.
Researchers conducted experiments on the last day of the study and investigated the effects of hookah smoke on blood function.
They made a small incision in the tails of the mice and measured how quickly the blood responded to the injury.
This is known as hemostasis, when the blood coagulates to form a plug and stops bleeding.
It took an average of 11 seconds for the mice exposed to smoke to stop bleeding, four minutes and 40 seconds faster than mice that were healthy.
The team then investigated whether the mice exposed to smoke were more susceptible to thrombosis – when a blood clot forms without bleeding.
While the mice were under anesthesia, the scientists injured the carotid artery in the neck, which supplies blood to the brain.
This simulated the first process of a heart attack, in which a piece of plaque breaks off a blood vessel wall.
The scientists measured how long it took for a blood clot to form in the artery and stop the flow of blood.
A blockage in arteries caused by a blood clot can cause a heart attack or stroke, depending on where it is.
It took a minute and 12 seconds in the smoke-exposed mice, compared to six minutes in the healthy mice.
The researchers accused ‘hyperactivity’ in the platelets caused by the water pipe smoke for the abnormally fast blood processes.
Although mice are very small, the findings apply to humans, the researchers said.
They made sure that cotinine, a chemical in tobacco that can be measured in the blood, was similar to that in people who smoke hookah.
Dr. Khasawneh said, “Some studies have shown that the smoke emitted by one episode of hookah smoking tobacco contains considerably more harmful chemicals than a single cigarette.
“Smoking a water pipe, cigarettes, e-cigarettes or other forms of tobacco increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.”
It is not the first time that experts have warned about the dangers of shisha, which has proven to be the same or worse than smoking a pack of cigarettes.
In May 2019, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a statement about smoking water pipes based on current evidence.
It reinforced that hookah smoke still contains toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, that damage the blood vessels, heart and lungs.
Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, a director of AHA Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science, said: “This study provides additional evidence that, contrary to what is often thought, hookah smoking has an adverse effect on cardiovascular health.
“From 2011 to 2015, the number of hookah devices located in the United States is estimated to have more than doubled and interest among teenagers and adults has increased.
“Although the tobacco industry has found new ways to popularize and increase the use of new products, such studies point to the high risk of smoking water pipes.”