Scientists in the USA have discovered that even light use of hookah can cause changes to the lungs.
Hookah is a way of smoking tobacco, usually sweetened with flavourings or molasses sugar, through a waterpipe. Hookah smoking originated in the Middle East, but its popularity has spread worldwide, including throughout Europe.
The research, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, focused on the health effects of using hookah for no more than three times per week for fewer than five years.
Researchers studied light hookah smokers alongside non-smokers, comparing factors including lung function and the extent to which people coughed and produced mucus.
The scientists found that hookah smokers coughed more and produced more mucus than non-smokers. The study also showed that smoking hookah damaged the cells that line the airways.
In light of their findings, the researchers recommend further, larger studies into the effects of hookah on the lungs.
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