Cancer-linked chemical present in hookah smoke

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Researchers collected samples from 105 hookah smokers, before and after they smoked from a hookah pipe, to measure possible detrimental effects of the smoke. To measure secondhand exposure risks associated with hookah smoking, the investigators also took urine samples from 103 individuals present at events where they would have exposure to the pipe smoke. When examined, the urine samples of nonsmokers who spent time in hookah lounges contained S-phenylmercapturic acid (SPMA) levels 2.6 times higher than normal. The compound SPMA is created after benzene is broken down in the body. Tested individuals that smoked hookah pipes at home showed SPMA levels double normal, and smokers that used hookah pipes in a hookah lounge setting showed a fourfold SPMA increase.

Study author Nada Kassem, an associate director at the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health at San Diego State University, stated that this study was the first to discover higher levels of benzene directly associated with hookah pipe use, and that hookah smoking should not be considered a safe alternative to tobacco use. The benzene is present in both hookah smoke and in emissions from charcoal used to heat the hookah tobacco. The CDC has linked airborne benzene exposure to increased risk of leukemia, and previous research has specifically linked benzene with acute myeloid leukemia In addition, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Toxicology Program have classified benzene as a Group 1 carcinogen (no safe exposure level possible). These finding suggest that hookah smoking be treated similarly to tobacco use, and that hookah pipe use, both at home and in lounge settings, be curtailed to minimize health risk.

Cancer-linked chemical present in hookah smoke
Cancer-linked chemical present in hookah smoke
People who smoke a hookah or inhale secondhand hookah smoke may be breathing in the chemical benzene, a substance that previous research has linked with an increased risk of leukemia, according to a new study. In the study, researchers collected urine samples from 105 hookah smokers before and after they smoked from a hookah, a pipe that's used to smoke flavored tobacco.
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