A man smokes shisha

The Kenyan government has banned the sale and use of shisha in the country.  Some of the common myths peddled around regarding smoking of shisha and the effects on one’s health include:

MYTH #1:

Hookah smoke is filtered through water so it filters out harmful ingredients.


Smoking tobacco through water does not filter out cancer causing chemicals.

Water filtered smoke can damage the lungs and heart as much as cigarette smoke.

MYTH #2:

Inhaling hookah smoke does not burn the lungs, so it is not unhealthy.


The hookah smoke does not burn the lungs when inhaled because it is cooled through the water in the base of the hookah. Even though the smoke is cooled, it still contains carcinogens and it is still unhealthy.

MYTH #3:

Herbal shisha is healthier than regular shisha.


Just like smoking herbal or “natural” cigarettes, herbal shisha exposes the smoker to tar and carcinogens

MYTH #4:

Smoking a hookah is not as addictive as smoking a cigarette because there is no nicotine.


Just like regular tobacco, shisha contains nicotine. In fact, in a 60-minute Hookah session, smokers are exposed to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.

MYTH #5:

Shisha tobacco contains fruit, so it is healthier than regular tobacco.


Tobacco is tobacco, no matter what. Shisha is often soaked in molasses or honey and mixed with fruit, but it still contains cancer causing chemicals and nicotine.

MYTH #6:

Smoking hookahs are healthier than smoking cigarettes.


Hookah smoke is just as dangerous as cigarette smoke. Hookahs generate smoke in different ways:

Cigarette smoke is generated by burning tobacco, while hookah smoke is produced by heating

Tobacco in a bowl using charcoal. The end product is the same smoke, containing carcinogens.