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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 November 5, 2019

How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

1. Always Have a Book

It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

3. Get More Intellectual Friends

Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

4. Guided Thinking

Albert Einstein once said,

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

5. Put it Into Practice

Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

6. Teach Others

You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

7. Clean Your Input

Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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8. Learn in Groups

Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

9. Unlearn Assumptions

You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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11. Start a Project

Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

12. Follow Your Intuition

Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

13. The Morning Fifteen

Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

14. Reap the Rewards

Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

15. Make Learning a Priority

Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

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Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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