Welcome to Shisha 101! This short blog is where you will learn the basics of that tobacco that you smoke, probably without second guessing any of the risks. Knowledge is power and knowing the fundamentals of shisha will allow you to make the best decisions for yourself. Here are the health essentials that should be known by every hookah enthusiast when it comes to shisha.
What is shisha? Regular shisha is made from a combination of tobacco, natural and artificial flavorings, and molasses or sugar. Shisha may also contain nicotine, heavy metals, carbon monoxide and tar like normal cigarettes because the tobacco used in both are the same.
Is smoking shisha healthy? Most hookah users begin smoking thinking that it is better to smoke shisha instead of cigarettes. There are controversial investigations out there, but it is essential that you understand that shisha is still tobacco. Therefore, smoking shisha contains the same risks as smoking cigarettes, including higher risks of certain cancers. This also means that secondhand smoke is a risk as well. It is also important to understand that most sessions last an hour, meaning that you are inhaling more smoke than one cigar will deliver.
It’s a personal choice to smoke or not, and what you smoke is also a personal preference. However, understanding what is going in your body is one of the wisest decisions to make and should be established as a priority.
What is herbal shisha? Herbal shisha is a more organic source of shisha that gives you flavor, but keeps nicotine, tar and tobacco out of it. Shisha is a blend of molasses/sugar, herbs, and different natural flavorings to give you a similar experience to regular shisha. It is marketed as a healthier version of shisha (not enough research has been made to prove this yet) for consumers that worry about their tobacco or nicotine intake. It tends to be more expensive than its counterparts, but for some users, it is well worth the cost.
It’s about the burning. An important thing to understand is that though herbal shisha may not contain the normal ingredients of a cigarette, the burning process from the charcoal or coals during a hookah session can still expose you to harmful substances, such as carbon monoxide.
Shisha comes in all forms. There are many brands of shisha, with their own category of flavors that you can choose from. The key is looking into the ingredients and deciding which one is best for you. Ask other hookah users for a more in-depth review of any particular brand. Experiment and come to your own conclusions.
An extra tip. There are many harmful things in the world and getting stressed or paranoid about them all will make it worse. Take steps to lower your risks that you won’t mind sticking with, like the following: using natural coals, such as coconut; getting an electronic hookah device; and, smoking outside or inside a well-ventilated area are all small things that can be done. The point is to enjoy with full knowledge of what you’re enjoying.