A Tobacco Control Policy & Legal Resource Center
Supporting Smokefree Air & Tobacco-Free Lives

Light hookah smoking causes lung abnormalities in young people (Weil Cornell)

Posted on

The American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published new research from Cornell Weill Medical College in NYC that concludes even light hookah smoking by young people can cause lung abnormalities. The study was authored by Dr. Ronald Crystal of Weill Cornell Medicine in NYC. Average age of participants was 24, smoked no more than 3 bowls per week for less than 5 years.

Compared to smoking 1 cigarette, the study found that 1 hookah session exposes users to more toxins:

  • 4 times the amount of nicotine, 3 times the amount of phenol
  • 5 times the amount of molecular weight carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons
  • 17 times more formaldehyde
  • 11 times more carbon monoxide.

Compared to nonsmokers, the hookah smokers coughed more frequently, produced more sputum. They also concluded that hookah smoking changes the cell linings in the airways: it increases circulation of small particles shed by endothelial cells in the lungs which indicates ongoing capillary damage, and that is a sign of early lung damage.
Read the American Thoracic Society’s study abstract.
Read the Daily Mail’s article on the study.
Read the Medical News Today article on the study.