Shisha in the kitchen

“Shisha doesn’t involve any tobacco.”

“Smoking cigarettes is far worse for you.”

“Shisha is a lot more harmful.”

These are all things I have heard being said before. It seems there are a lot of myths or inaccurate information surrounding the topic of smoking and I guess it is time to clear some of it up.

When I first started smoking, I thought the first statement was true and a lot of people are misinformed about the topic.

Firstly, shisha does involve tobacco but a special kind called Mu‘assel and it is a sweetened fruit-based tobacco typically quite sticky and looks a lot different compared to the content found inside a packet of Golden Virginia.

Of course, we all know that smoking any type of tobacco will cause some harm to your health. Whether it is more dangerous than smoking cigarettes depends on a number of factors such as how much you smoke and how often.

In general terms, they are rather similar. A shisha session typically lasts between 45minutes to an hour, in which time a range of roughly 50 to 200 inhalations take place. Therefore, in a session hat lasts for around an hour, a user will consume about 100 times the smoke of one cigarette. On the other hand, those who smoke cigarettes typically do not smoke just the one per day, so the average consumption of smoke can be quite similar.

The best rule is to be safe and sensible with your smoking habits and after all it is a lifestyle choice. Shisha is a practice of enjoyment, socialising and relaxing and those who participate in the activity have every right to do so. The same goes for those who smoke cigarettes.

So the next time somebody tries to preach how one is more harmful than the other, forget the facts and figures because both can be enjoyed sensibly and is the individual’s own choice. Respect for other’s choices is key…and a drink to keep you hydrated!


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