The rise in numbers of college shisha smokers in Kenya which is alarmingly high has been contributed by the misconceptions that the drug is a healthier and cooler alternative to cigar smoking.
Students are now streaming into hookah lounges every day especially at night and during weekends to puff clouds of shisha and feel ‘awesome’.
This is not only happening in Kenya but also worldwide where even junior teenagers in developed countries have become more tenacious in trying out shisha smoking.
When you think of a drug that gives young ladies the audacity to abuse it in public, then this drug must be well ahead of its game. Ladies were previously less known for smoking until shisha came.
Several times I’ve walked through joints with high affinity for youths searching for fun and as I leave these premises, I wonder what has become of our generation. Smoking cannot be mentioned without nicotine, the agent of addiction.
A recent questionnaire-based study that involved around 470 respondents brought to light that 74% of those that had used hookah did not know it contains tobacco. Shisha enthusiasts believe that since the smoke is passed through water, nicotine is absorbed and hence addiction is evitable.
When this ignorant perception is combined with the sweet flavors in which shisha is available, it becomes a more socially accepted means of getting high.
Considering the average shisha session at just one hour and factoring in the mode of smoking whose variables include deep inhalation and frequency of puffing, the volume of smoke that goes through the lungs is approximately equivalent to that puffed from at least 100 cigars. Wow!
Despite this scary fact, guys still want to go smoke sheesha. Well for me this simple fact is enough to turn my life around.
Get this, contrary to common belief, passing smoke through water does not filter or clean it. Hence, most if not all the effects of tobacco smoking will also affect shisha smokers.
Talk about lung cancer, heart problems, addiction and fertility issues, just to mention but a few. Addiction, in fact, catches up with someone pretty soon considering the sweet flavors, aromas and the moments of pleasure you share while hooking up with the drug.
Recent research by World Health Organization discovered some startling facts that make shisha seem like the ‘mother of tobacco’. Shisha smoke could have 36 times more carcinogenic tar, 15 times more carbon monoxide and higher levels of heavy metals like lead and nickel compared to tobacco cigar.
Moving from cigar to shisha is like running from a hot pan and jumping into the fire. More seriously, when you smoke shisha, you do it with colleagues and since it’s done orally, there is a possibility of passing infectious diseases such as TB, Aspergillums, and Helicobacter especially when the pipes are not cleaned properly.
When widespread of false information is coupled with little stigmatization of shisha smoking, this drug surely comes to the forefront in promoting moral decadence and descent of productivity in the society.
Not forgetting that social media which promotes all sorts of crazy things we invent to destroy ourselves has underpinned the spread of shisha smoking, we are definitely heading for a trap.
Before you think of joining your friends for shisha this weekend, know exactly what you are going to be feeding your body with. Be careful.