Shisha and cannabis is increasingly becoming very trendy

March 2017


Shisha


Shisha is made up of 25% of tobacco mixed with molasses and a fruit flavour which gives it an acidic and scented aspect. It is smoked through a waterpipe called a Hookah. People that smoke shisha often believe that it is harmless and non toxic.
  • The health risks of shisha, are the same for smoking cigarettes such as increased risk of cancer, chronic bronchitis, and cardiovascular problems.
  • Measurements taken at the end of a shisha smoke show that the amount of carbon monoxide emitted is equivalent to that observed from the consumption of 2 packets of cigarettes.
  • 30 to 50 puffs of shisha inhaled over an average time of 1 hour, is equivalent to 2 packets of cigarettes
  • The rate of inhaled carbon monoxide through a Hookah (waterpipe) is 7 times greater that in the smoke of a normal cigarette.
  • Hookah (waterpipe) smoking exposes the smoker to an increased risk of microbial transmissions, such as tuberculosis, since smokers tend to use and share the same nozzle.
  • The smoke released in confined places from shisha is a passive source of pollution to others.
  • Consequently, it is now forbidden to smoke shisha in bars. Young people are increasingly smoking from a Hookah (waterpipe), especially students.


The young and older smokers seem to believe that there are little or no health risks in comparison to cigarette smoking. When questioned they all reply with the same type of answers: "that they are less harmful than cigarettes" and " "there are no problems for my health".

Cannabis


  • For a long time cannabis was thought to be less harmful than tobacco and alcohol.
  • The number of regular cannabis smokers rapidly increased, from 3,8% to 5,9% between the years 2000 .and 2005.
  • The fall in price of cannabis during these years contributed to the increase in its consumption
  • It has been estimated recently that many millions between the ages of 12 to 75 years have already consumed cannabis at least once in their life.
  • The average age when the first "joint" was smoked is estimated to be at 15 years .
  • Over a million smoke it regularly and over 25% of all adults have already tried it. There is a high proportion of under 17 year olds smoking cannabis and English adolescents are amongst the largest consumers of it in Europe.
  • It has been reported that one in two young people have already smoked cannabis and over 10% smoke it regularly.
  • It is thought that at least half of the young people aged 17 or less who smoke cannabis also other social social problems.
  • Historically cannabis has been regarded as harmless and inoffensive, however, the consumption of cannabis has serious effects on health.
  • Cannabis produces more carbonic gases than tobacco.
  • Smoking a Cannabis 'joint' is equivalent to smoking between 2,5 and 5 normal cigarettes one after the other.
  • The harmful effects cannabis has on the lungs (wheezing, coughing.) is directly proportional to the number of 'joints' smoked.
  • Tobacco smokers that also smoke cannabis are exposed to additional harmful effects on the lungs and it increases their risk of chronic bronchitis.
  • There is help available from addict centres which offer programmes to help and rehabilitate those with drug addictions. These are provided locally and your GP will refer you for this specialised help.
  • There was an analysis of 35 scientific studies published in the medical journal 'The Lancet' in July 2007. It showed that the consumption of cannabis increased the risks of developing a mental disorder by 40% and psychological problems, proportional to the quantity of cannabis consumed. The risk of developing schizophrenia, hallucinations or other psychological problems increases from 50 to 200% among the very heavy smokers of cannabis
    • Another study published in 2006, in the Journal 'Neurology', highlighted the memory-loss effects of cannabis use: with a loss of over 50% of short-term memory, intellectual capacity, verbal activity and attention deficit syndromes in heavy users.
  • According to a New Zealand study published in January 2008 by the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ), they found that smoking cannabis was 20 times more dangerous for health than smoking tobacco. This study was based on 79 patients suffering from lung cancer and found that cannabis smoke contains concentrations twice as high in carcinogenic substances than tobacco. One of the reasons for this is that Cannabis is most commonly smoked as 'joints', which have no filter, therefore increasing the toxity and harmful side effects of cannabis.


As a consequence, the researchers anticipate the likelihood of an "epidemic" of lung cancers directly related to the consumption of cannabis.

They also concluded that risk of lung cancer increased as much a nearly 6 fold for those who had smoked more than one joint a day for ten years, or two joints a day over five years. Finally, the authors believe that one out of twenty cases of lung cancer in New Zealand could be directly attributed to cannabis use. (Reference Relaxnews Janvier 2008)

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