ALARMING increase in Hookah #smoking among teens and young adults. However, #hookah is NOT a safe alternative to cigarettes.

Now I know this is not a new invention. It has been around for a long, long time but has now become a huge ‘fad’. It is gaining an enormous popularity amongst teenagers at parties and homes. Many well-educated parents are willingly allowing their children to take up this fad and are even buying them for their children. My own son has attended many parties where the parents have happily put these out with all the relevant flavoured tobacco. “It’s perfectly safe!” they say. Is it? This IS smoking, contrary to the popular perception that the two are not related. But you will have a hard time telling your child this when so many other parents are telling them that it is fine. “But,” says my son “the smoke is filtered through the water which makes the smoke perfectly safe.”

This is a myth. The water is not a filter. It simply cools the heat of the smoke down which makes hubby bubbly’s risk as great as, and perhaps even greater than cigarette smoking. The smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer causing elements.

Flavoured tobacco is harmless, the teenagers say. How so? It is a tobacco. Is this a way for the tobacco industry to get their favourite customers, very often young people, hooked into an addictive and deadly habit?

How easy is it to add dagga(cannabis) to this? Very easy. Does it happen? Of course it does. To spice things up a bit, they smoke hubbly through vodka instead of water.