Hookah an unhealthy trend among students

Janelle Green

With hookah bars, lounges, café and retailers targeting the college crowds, health officials are concerned about the lack of negative information that young adults are receiving about the new trend.

Most hookah café’s in Orange County, like the Red Sea Hookah Lounge in Lake Forest, and the Dream Café in Anaheim are open daily until one or two in the morning, making the poisonous tobacco readily available to anyone 18 years of age and older, or so they say.

“My little brother and I go to the one in Lake Forest a few times a week,” Jessica Holmes, 18, undecided said. “They never card him. I was going to Red Sea on the weekends when I was 17 too.”

Despite what anyone has been told, hookah is dangerous. Mayoclinic.com, a health website that recently broke the news about hookah’s dangerous toxins, assures smokers that the tobacco in hookah is just as harmful as the tobacco in cigarettes.

“I thought that because of the water in the base of the hookah that the smoker didn’t get all that bad stuff,” Holmes said. “Now I feel like I’ve been putting my little brother in danger.”

The coals that are placed on top of the hookah’s bowl heat the tobacco. The tobacco gives off smoke which passes through the water, without a filter, and is inhaled by the smoker. The tobacco smoke that is inhaled contains a high percentage of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, nicotine, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals called carcinogens.

According to a World Health Organization advisory, smoking hookah for one hour exposes the inhaler to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.

William Hickey, a famous lawyer from the 1700’s wrote in his “Memoirs” in 1775, “I have frequently heard men declare they would much rather be deprived of their nightly sex than their hookah.”

“I don’t know what I would do on a weeknight if it wasn’t for hookah bars,” David Chow, 22, music said. “I guess I’d do homework or go to sleep or something. But I’d rather be hanging out with the guys at the hookah bar, that’s for sure.” Hookah haters beg to differ.

“All my friends want to do is go to those stupid lounges,” Jasmine Bates, 20, psychology said. “If someone doesn’t make it illegal soon, the whole world will be addicted to hookah.”