I start this blog with the following verse from the Qu’ran 4:79
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
“What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself……..”
Islam is a complete way of life, which encompasses both spiritual and a legal tradition and impacts on Muslim thinking and social customs. One of the aims of Islam is to minimise the risk of harm to oneself and to society in general.
As we are well aware that health is the most important gift. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh ) has told us that well-being is a gift of God. Without good health, life becomes difficult. We are taught by our faith to stay away from anything that may harm us; it is with this in mind, I thought I might touch on a subject that is in need of further discussions.
The harmful health effect of using tobacco has now been proven to be harmful. So where does shisha fit in?
Shisha is widely marketed as a healthy alternative to smoking, but it might surprise you to learn that shisha smoking and cigarette smoking are remarkably similar, and that shisha is not the harm free alternative that many people believe it to be.
One piece of research from the British Heart Foundationsuggests that in a typical shisha session of around 60 minutes you could inhale the equivalent amount of smoke as you would from up to 100 cigarettes. The smoke contains the same cancer-causing chemicals and toxic gases as smoking and increases your risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems. Another study in 2016 reported that during a shisha session you can inhale the same as 25 cigarettes worth of tar, 11 cigarettes worth of carbon monoxide, and 2 cigarettes worth of nicotine.
In this post I will talk about five common myths about shisha smoking, share some facts to demystify them, and point you in the direction of where to get advice and help
Myth 1 – “Shisha isn’t addictive”
Fact – shisha often contains nicotine (the addictive part of tobacco) so you can get hooked surprisingly quickly.
Myth 2 – “The water in a shisha pipe filters out the toxins so it isn’t harmful to your health”
Fact – even after it has been passed through the water the smoke produced by a water pipe contains high levels of toxins, which are damaging to your health. This can cause serious health problems like cancer, heart disease and respiratory illnesses.
Myth 3 – “Herbal or fruit shisha is healthier than tobacco shisha”
Fact – it’s the smoke, which causes the most harm so even though it’s herbal it still burns producing the harmful chemicals, like carbon monoxide, which damages your health.
Myth 4 – “An hour of shisha smoking is good value for money”
Fact – A shisha session costs, on average, £15, but can be up to £25. If you had an extra £15 in your pocket, what else could you spend it on?
Myth 5 – “Sharing a shisha pipe with friends and family is safe”
Fact – There are lots of risks from sharing shisha equipment including oral herpes (cold sores), tuberculosis and COVID-19, even if you know the person you are sharing with. Smoking shisha near others also puts them at risk of illnesses from second-hand smoke, and these are particularly harmful to children. If you can’t stop smoking shisha yourself you can protect others by not using it indoors and making sure you keep it well away from others.
Are you thinking of quitting?
There is a lot of help for those thinking of quitting any tobacco product; by doing so this brings immediate benefits.
If you’re already addicted and struggling to quit, you can get help from our excellent stop smoking service by clicking here.
For more information or if you have any questions you can contact the local Public Health team at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out what happens to your body in the first few minutes, hours, days, weeks and months after quitting here: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/