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Combining cigarettes and hookah doubles health danger

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

According to findings published in the Journal of American College Health, many individuals of college age have misconceptions about smoking from a hookah - for example, they don't necessarily realize it increases the likelihood that a blood test will eventually detect lung cancer markers in a person's blood.

Surveying a portion of the college population, a research team led by Aashir Nasim of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, also a psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, determined that knowledge about the addictive nature and carcinogenic qualities of hookah smoke was relatively low among their age group. Many college students they spoke with thought that water in hookah pipes filtered out the harmful elements of tobacco.

The researchers note that hookah smoke is held in the lungs longer, and hookah smoking sessions last longer than the time it normally takes to smoke a cigarette. This means that hookah could potentially be more likely to lead tumor biomarkers to show up on a blood test.

Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that when the charcoal in hookah pipes burns, its smoke contains carbon monoxide, metals and other carcinogens.

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