DAMMAM: Smoking shisha could cause three types of cancer in women, say leading medical experts.
The executive director of the Anti-Smoking Association “Naqa,” Dr. Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al-Mayouf, said studies show that 6.1 percent of Saudis smoke shisha, an alarming indicator that shows the power of the tobacco companies’ propaganda, which portrays smoking as a sign of urbanization and self-assertion. “It makes it easier to convince adolescent girls to take up the habit, especially when it is propagated by the media, mostly soap operas that are very popular among them."
Studies, said Al-Mayouf, indicate that one session of shisha smoking lasts two to three hours, which is equivalent to the time taken to smoke about 25 cigarettes, and that one cigarette contains 4,000 toxic and 43 carcinogenic substances.
Al-Mayouf said shisha smoking is one contributor to lung, bladder and stomach cancer; it also contributes to lower newborn weight, to gum and throat diseases, and to the spread of tuberculosis — a highly contagious disease, when one shisha is used by several persons.
Many sites promote the electronic shisha, arguing that it helps gradually quit smoking, but this is a delusional solution and profitable propaganda spread by tobacco companies and the marketers of electronic cigarettes, against which the WHO has issued serious warnings.
Al-Mayouf stressed that e-cigarettes harm the smokers and those around them, the so-called passive smokers, as much as regular cigarettes, so there is great need to change the common perception among people that nicotine in electronic cigarettes is less concentrated.