Mr. Hassan Fadiga
There is a unique phenomenal in the Liberian society that has captivated my attention lately. While the government of Liberia is striving to deal with corruptions and other vices in post war Liberia, there is another health related issue that has gone unnoticed. The smoking of “Hookah” is becoming ubiquitous in Liberia, and this should be cause of grave concern to the health ministry.

There have been numerous photos of young Liberians smoking the Middle Eastern pipe called Hookah, or Shisha on social media. Interestingly, most of the Hookah smokers are totally uninformed of the hazardous effect of this product.

According to Dr. Lowell Dale, M.D. at Mayo Clinic, Hookah smoking is not safer than cigarette smoking. He further stated that tobacco is no less toxic in a hookah pipe, and the water in the hookah does not filter out the toxic components in the tobacco smoke. Smoking Hookah is very dangerous; smokers may inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers do because, large volume of smoke is inhaled in one smoking session, which can last as long as 60 minutes.

While research about hookah smoking is still emerging, evidence shows that it poses many dangers: Below is a list of the potential hazard Hookah poses to one’s health.

1.) Hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). In fact, hookah smokers are exposed to more carbon monoxide and smoke than are cigarette smokers.

2.) As with cigarette smoking, hookah smoking is linked to lung and oral cancers, heart disease, and other serious illnesses.

3.) Hookah smoking delivers about the same amount of nicotine as cigarette smoking, possibly leading to tobacco dependence.

4.) Hookah smoke poses dangers associated with secondhand smoke.

5.) Hookah smoking by pregnant women can result in low birth weight babies.

6.) Hookah pipes used in hookah bars and cafes may not be cleaned properly, risking the spread of infectious diseases.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hookah/AN01265

Question: Should the GOL institute policy to stop the use of Hookah smoking in Liberia? What's your take one this issue? Have your say...

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