- In a new study in mice, researchers discovered that tobacco smoke from a hookah makes blood work abnormally and is more likely to clot and quickly form blood clots.
- The findings provide new evidence that hookah smoking may not be a safe alternative to cigarettes.
For the first time, in a study in mice, researchers discovered that tobacco smoke from a hookah makes blood work abnormally and is more likely to clot and quickly form blood clots, which may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, according to new research published today in the journal of the American Heart Association Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology (ATVB).
The researchers found that tobacco smoke from a hookah caused blood clots to form in an average of approximately 11 seconds, compared to an average of 5 minutes per coagulation without exposure to hookah smoke. Hookah smoke exposure also caused other abnormalities related to the way blood flows.
“Smoking hookah, which is becoming more popular in Western countries, is perceived as less harmful than cigarettes, but hookahs have a toxic profile that is considered comparable or even superior to that of traditional cigarettes. Some studies have found that smoke emitted from an episode of smoking hookah tobacco contains significantly more harmful chemicals compared to a single cigarette, “said Fadi Khasawneh, Ph.D., associate professor and president of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Texas in El Paso.
Hookah, also known as smoking water pipe, is a unique method for smoking tobacco. It consists of a head (containing tobacco), a body, a chamber full of water, a hose and a mouthpiece. Charcoal briquettes are used to “burn” tobacco.
In this study, researchers exposed mice to the hookah smoke of 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. Then, the researchers compared platelet activity among exposed mice versus non-exposed mice.
The study simulated the type of nicotine exposure that occurs when smoking a hookah, which the researchers verified by measuring the levels of cotinine, the nicotine metabolite.
“Our findings provide new evidence that hookah smoking is so unhealthy, if not more, than traditional cigarettes,” Khasawneh said. “Smoking a hookah, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or other forms of tobacco increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.”
In May 2019, the American Heart Association published a Scientific Statement, “Smoking in a Water Pipe (Water Pipe) and Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases,” to analyze available research on the effects of smoking on health. The Declaration notes that hookah smoking results in the inhalation of significant levels of toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide and tobacco particles that can damage blood vessels, heart and lungs, as well as create a dependence on nicotine.
“This study provides additional evidence that, contrary to popular belief, hookah smoking negatively affects cardiovascular health. From 2011 to 2015, it is estimated that the number of U.S.-based water pipe establishments has more than doubled, and interest has increased among teenagers as well as adults, ”said Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., chairman of the scientific statement writing group.” 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 smoking hookah. “
Reference: “Short-term exposure to hookah water / smoke pipe triggers a state of hyperactive platelet activation and increases the risk of thrombogenesis” by Ahmed B. Alarabi, Zubair A. Karim, Jean E. Montes Ramírez, Keziah R. Hernández, Patricia A. Lozano, José O. Rivera, Fatima Z. Alshbool and Fadi T. Khasawneh, January 16, 2020, Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology (ATVB).
DOI: 10.1161 / ATVBAHA.119.313435
Co-authors are Ahmed Alarabi, M.D., M.P.H .; Zubair Karim, Ph.D .; Jean Ramirez, M.S .; Keziah Hernández, M.P.A .; Patricia Lozano, M.S .; José Rivera, Pharm.D .; and co-leader of the Fatima Alshbool study, Pharm.D., Ph.D. The author’s revelations are in the manuscript.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health partially funded the study.