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Smoking shisha and asthma

19th September 2017

GP Eugenia Lee writes about the health issues facing shisha-smoking asthmatics in South East London

Nowadays asthma can be well controlled with the right management, lifestyle changes and medication but one of the issues GPs are frequently dealing with in South East London is the health issues that arise for asthmatics caused by smoking shisha.

Shisha, as well as hookah smoking entails a water line which has a bowl, smoke holding chamber and hose pipe. A unique kind of tobacco is burned up within the holding chamber and smoke goes up through water within the bowl prior to it being inhaled through the water pipe. People who smoke shisha may breathe in much more tobacco smoke compared to that from a cigarette due to the bigger pipes employed. Smoking shisha can trigger asthma symptoms or even an attack as the particles act as an irritant to the airways.

The large degree of smoke through shisha can cause chemical substance discomfort of the lung area, resulting in allergy-induced bronchial asthma. Even in people who are not vulnerable to bronchial asthma, the toxic chemical substances inside the smoke can bother and irritate the liner of your nasal pathways, throat and mouth and bring about allergy symptoms.

The Singapore Health Marketing Board notes, as with cigarette smoke, second hand shisha smoke may cause harmful effects in your body which may result in illness. Sharing a shisha pipe is a great medium for promoting bacteria, leading to contagious diseases such as hepatitis A.

A study by the World Health Organisation suggests that shisha is more harmful than cigarette smoking. Breathing in the smoke in the hubble-bubble is effectively inhaling poisonous gas and chemical toxins. The water inside the water pipe doesn’t filter the actual smoke, even though it will soak up nicotine. This can lead to lung and cardiovascular issues.

Giving up smoking shisha, at whatever age, will be beneficial for your asthma control and for the health of those in your household. Please speak to your GP if you need advice or support.

www.healthylondon.org/ask-about-asthma

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