Smoking Hookah may lead to increased risk of blood clots

New evidence that hookah smoking may not be a safe alternative to cigarettes.


When young adults meet in Hookah bars, they share the pipe and enjoying a peaceful and relaxing time. But, they fail to realize something important.

Many studies have found the effects of hookah smoking on the liver. A new study found a link between hookah smoking and increased risk of blood clots.

A study conducted in mice suggested that tobacco smoke from a hookah caused blood to function abnormally and be more likely to clot and quickly form blood clots.

It just takes 11 seconds to form a blood clot and other abnormalities related to the way the blood flows.

Fadi Khasawneh, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso said, “Hookah smoking, which is becoming more popular in Western countries, is perceived as less harmful than cigarettes, yet hookahs carry a toxic profile that is thought to be comparable or even to exceed that of traditional cigarettes. Some studies have found that the smoke emitted from one hookah tobacco smoking episode contains significantly more harmful chemicals compared to a single cigarette.”

In this study, the mice were exposed to hookah smoke from a smoking machine that mimicked real-life smoking habits. The smoking machine used 12 grams of commercially available, flavored tobacco that included tobacco, glycerin, molasses, and natural flavor with nicotine and tar.

Scientists then compared platelet activity among the exposed vs. the unexposed mice.

Khasawneh said, “Our findings provide new evidence that hookah smoking is as unhealthy – if not more so – than traditional cigarettes. Smoking a hookah, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or other forms of tobacco all increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.”

Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., chair of the Scientific Statement writing group, said, “This study provides additional evidence that, contrary to popular belief, hookah smoking adversely affects cardiovascular health. From 2011 to 2015, the number of United States-based waterpipe establishments is estimated to have more than doubled, and interest has grown among both teens and adults. Although the tobacco industry has found novel ways to popularize and increase the use of new products, studies like this highlight the high risk of hookah smoking.”

The study is published today in the American Heart Association’s journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB).

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