How are Smoking Shisha Different From Smoking Cigarettes?

Many people are wondering what Shisha, also known as Hookhas really are? Are they safe? How are smoking Shisha different from smoking cigarettes? Let’s find out.

In the warm, lazying weekday afternoon, groups of youngsters can be seen on the balconies and outside hotels in Nathigali, Ayubia. They are made up of mainly college and university students, smoking shisha (water pipes) after school, from midday all the way till late at night.

This is becoming a worrying trend. One quick look across the streets and you can see all the hotels and eatery in the area infested with facilities and dozens of decorated shishas displayed outside to attract customers.

Locals started to complain that smoking shisha is fast becoming a trend despite the nation smoking law prohibits smoking in public areas. Smoking shisha is injurious not only to the health of the smoker, but their children as well. They urged the local authorities to step up and do something about it.

When interviewing a student of Peshawar University, Natasha Khan said “Yes, I know smoking is hazardous to health but tobacco in shisha is not as harmful as smoking cigarette. That’s what I was told.” She said, self proclaimed that she acquired the habit a year ago from her friend in university. She, like many others, tried shisha out of curiosity and now she has to smoke three times a day and is a ‘Shisha addict.’

So what exactly is Shisha?

Shisha, some called hookah or water-pipe, is a traditional method of smoking in a subcontinent and has been prevalent in the hujra culture of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for centuries. However, after much evolution and changes, shisha is now different from traditional hookah. Instead of pure tobacco, it uses flavored tobacco mixed with aromatic substances. The mixture can be chose from a variety of flavors such as apple, mango, watermelon, strawberry, orange, grape and mint. The content weighs around 20 to 30 grams.

A hotelier in Nathiagali said that due to the rising popularity of shisha, especially among the youngster, they are bound to provide it to them in order to keep their businesses running. He said he was well aware that smoking in public is an offence, but when authorities are so lenient towards smoking cigarettes in public, how can they stop people from smoking shisha.