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Alert: Smoking Hookah (Shisha) For An Hour Might Equal Smoking 100 Cigarettes

Alert: Smoking Hookah (Shisha) For An Hour Might Equal Smoking 100 Cigarettes

Hookah lovers are known for spending hours on end puffing away on their beloved water pipes. But would these enthusiasts spend an hour smoking if they knew it was actually very dangerous?

A new study suggests that young people believe that smoking hookah is safer than smoking cigarettes. Because of this, hookah smokers will smoke their pipes for longer. The gentle flavors encourage them to inhale more smoke than a cigarette smoker would.

But a one hour water pipe session could set a smoker back the equivalent of 100 cigarettes.

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Few people would claim to enjoy smoking 100 cigarettes, or five packs, in only one hour. Even fewer would claim that they do this regularly with a group of friends. The cost in terms of health alone is too heavy a burden for the average person and could result in a call from funeral director.

Most people understand that smoking cigarettes will increase their risk for plenty of long term and deadly diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer. But few realize that hookah has these exact same long term side effects.

How could an hour of relaxed hookah smoking become the equivalent to five packs a day?

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The World Health Organization released a report that found that those who indulge in hookah will take between 50 and 200 puffs during each hour of smoking.

This is compared to a mere eight to 12 average puffs that a cigarette smoker will have smoking one cigarette.

Another dangerous fact that few enthusiasts know about hookah is that small water pipes produce higher levels of carbon monoxide than cigarettes. So a person who is smoking hookah from a small, personal water pipe is inhaling more dangerous fumes than someone smoking a regular cigarette.

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People are aware of the dangers of cigarettes. This awareness combined with a fuller realization of how cigarettes affect smokers and the people they love has resulted in Americans smoking fewer standard cigarettes than ever before.

The dangers of cigarettes are well noted and continually advertised by health services and governments. In Toronto they are considering banning shisha and hookah smoking in public, and that follows the province of Alberta’s decsion to also ban the practice.This is because policy makers in Canada feared that young people in their 20’s were turning to hookah smoking as a social activity without understanding the dangers behind cigarette alternatives like hookah and e-cigarettes.

Additionally, shisha tobacco has more appeal to young as it comes in a variety of flavors, such as apple and strawberry. For people from the Middle East, it is part of their culture, and for many, shisha bars represent another outlet for a cultural experience in the city, just like going to the theater a Chinese restaurant.

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Indeed, even though tobacco came from the Americas, the practice of smoking hookah goes back hundreds of years. The pipe and the water pipe are old traditions stemming from the pan-Asian continent before making its way to North America in the mid-20th century.

While the use of water pipes continues to decline in the area of its origin, new hookah businesses in the United States have targeted young adults and college students. These students have shown a demonstrable decrease in the number of cigarettes they consume. But more than 40%% of students in a recent survey said that they had smoked tobacco from a water pipe.

Between the pleasant aroma, the varied flavors and the chic cafes marketed directly at young people, young people remain uninformed about the dangers of hookah.

Armed with more research, administrators and law makers could help inform young people of the risks of smoking hookah and help prevent the dangerous diseases that are often attributed only to cigarettes.

Featured photo credit: Shisha Times via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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