If you have been made to believe by someone or some articles that Hookah is less harmful than cigarette and hence this habit is a better option of the two, make note that you are being fooled. Hookah or Shisha is not in any way less toxic or less harmful for your health than cigarette and in reality it can be even more dangerous and possess even higher health risks than smoking cigarette. Be it a cigarette or a hookah, in both the cases you are consuming the fume coming out of burning the same tobacco and hence it can never be more healthy than smoking a cigarette. Someone might have told you that the water in hookah actually purifies the smoke coming out of the tobacco, but in reality, the water has no purifying effects in this case.
When you smoke hookah or shisha you run even more health risks than smoking cigarette, because in this case your body is exposed to heavy smoke for a longer time that can extend to even more than an hour. With hookah there is also the risk of second hand infection. In fact, the list of reasons why you need to stop smoking hookah immediately in never ending and you should know that it is a habit that can ruin your health completely.
Why you should stop hookah/shisha smoking
- Causes cancer: The mode and frequency of hookah smoking leads to absorption of more toxins than cigarette smoking, which naturally increases the risk of developing cancer many folds. The smoke of hookah contains carbon monoxide, heavy metals as well as a number of other carcinogenic toxic chemicals that can cause oral, lung as well as bladder cancer. A single session of hookah smoking that lasts for around one hour exposes the smoker to 100 to 200 times more amount of toxic compounds compared to a single cigarette.
- Increases risk of heart ailment: Smoking hookah can significantly increase the risk of getting a cardiovascular problem. The nicotine and other harmful substances present in the hookah smoke is related to thickening and clogging of the arteries, which is sure to lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and a number of other cardiovascular ailments.
- Causes degeneration and disease of the tissues: Hookah smokers often suffer from a number of periodontal diseases due to the increased amount of nicotine and cotinine in the saliva. Hookah smokers also have high levels of these compounds in their urine and blood plasma which can result into degeneration of the tissues and mutation of the body cells.
- Results into nicotine addiction: Just like cigarettes, Hookah also supplies a huge dose of nicotine to the body which is sure to cause nicotine addiction. Nicotine addiction might seem to be pleasing at the beginning, but it is sure to cause severe damage to your body.
- Bears high risk of infection: Hookah always bears the risk of secondary infection. The hookah pipes are hardly ever cleaned well and there is always the chance of transfer of diseases from one user of the hookah to another unknowingly. Smoking hookah at a bar or café is simply unhygienic and bears ample risks of infections.
- Smoking hookah can cause skin wrinkles and impotency: Some of the other harmful effects of hookah smoking include formation of skin wrinkles even at an earlier age and impotence. So, in order to stay away from these, it is vital to stay away from smoking hookah.
- Stopping hookah will save you money: Just try to take a note of how much you spend on hookah in a month and then in a year. Stopping hookah smoking can help you to save all that money. Even if it might seem to be a little for spending at a time, when you add up the total money spent on hookah year after year you are sure to come up with a huge figure that you might have invested in some other endeavors that can actually give you a good return.
- Quitting hookah will increase your lifespan: Quitting hookah can directly add to your lifespan. If you quit the habit at 30, you will add 10 years more span to your life and even quitting it at 60 can give your life an added extension of 3 years. So, no matter for how long you have been smoking hookah, stopping it is always helpful.
How to quit hookah smoking
Quitting hookah can be as difficult as quitting cigarette or may be even more, because in this case your body is habituated with even higher amount of nicotine than cigarette can supply. However, if you have the right will, there is nothing impossible and there are many hookah smokers who have quitted the habit even at an older age after realizing the health implications of this addiction. This article will provide you with an overall guideline on how to quit hookah.
Note down why you need to quit hookah smoking
When you are thinking of quitting hookah, you already know the bad effects of this addiction and you might have also experienced some of its effects on your health already. Writing down the reasons to quit hookah, how it is affecting your body and life and how you are being controlled by the addiction in a personal diary can be actually helpful to take the resolution. You should get back to this diary every time you feel like getting a smoking session, and it will help you to curb the urge.
Decide a quit date
It is important for you to decide the quit date at the earliest. Postponing the quit date for tomorrow will not help. So, decide a feasible date and write it down in the diary. Once you have taken the decision make every effort to stick to it.
Announce your decision
Announcing your decision of quitting the habit publicly can be very helpful to stick to it. Announcing it will also enable your close ones to provide you with the extra support that you might need during this phase and will also inform others who might have been your company in smoking hookah that you will no more indulge in the addiction.
Stay away from the triggers
Staying away from the triggers that can initiate the urge of having a smoke can be very effective when you are trying to quit the addiction. If there is a social function where people are most likely to smoke hookah, avoid it. Also avoid the company of the friends who smoke, as that is sure to fuel your cravings. Stressful situations and boredom are some of the other common triggers of getting back to the smoke and hence try to stay away from these triggers as well at least for the time being. Being in a place where people smoke like a hookah bar or a café can also work as a trigger. So, it is better to not to visit these places when you are trying to quit hookah.
Get rid of any hookah smoking arrangement you have at home
For regular hookah smokers it is very expected to have a hookah at home and if you have that, the best way to go is to donate it or sell it away immediately. Selling off the hookah or donating it will naturally make it difficult for you to get a smoke which can be helpful to control the urge and to stop smoking.
Get the right diet
Taking the right diet when you are trying to quit hookah can be helpful to control the urge. While a proper diet will ensure that your body is getting sufficient energy it needs, it can also be helpful to fight with the withdrawal symptoms like mood swings, lack of focus, insomnia and irritability. Including vegetables like spinach, broccoli and others in your diet that are rich sources of magnesium can be actually helpful, as Magnesium helps in relieving stress helping you to focus better. Milk, eggs and other dairy products help in secretion of the feel good hormone in the body, which again can be helpful to control the mood swings. Fruits that are rich in vitamin C can also be effective to fight the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine.
Get some physical exercise
Physical exercising can be very helpful to control the urge of hookah smoking and also to fight the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. Exercising releases serotonin in the body which makes you feel good, controlling the mood swings to a great extent. Exercising can also be very effective to relieve stress which often works as a trigger for hookah smoking. Exercising can also help you in getting a good night’s sleep which is very important for quitting the addiction of hookah and to fight the withdrawal symptoms. If you do not like exercising, join an active sport and you will get all the same benefits and even more.
If you are finding it really difficult to put things together after quitting the habit or you are feeling a strong urge to get back to the addiction, opting for some support can be really helpful. You can easily join the support groups or take assistance from an addiction counselor which will surely help you to deal with the addiction withdrawal symptoms and the urge to get back to it, in a better way. There are also some medications that can be helpful to quit the nicotine addiction; you can also talk to your doctor about it if you are not able to quit the habit on your own even after following the above measures.