Researchers in the UK want to warn people, especially students, about the dangers of smoking shisha (also known as hookah, or water pipes.)

According to a study across six UK universities, two thirds (66%) of students had smoked shisha tobacco. And amongst medical students at one London University, when asked if they had ever used shisha tobacco, 51.7% admitted they had, compared to 16.8% who had ever used a cigarette.

The main findings of the review, which analysed both national and international studies, were as follows:

  • Shisha tobacco smoking is often perceived as ‘safer’ than cigarette smoking i.e. less harmful and addictive
  • Many students believe quitting shisha tobacco is ‘easy’; yet few are able to do so successfully
  • Social factors and peer influence are the main contributors in students to start shisha tobacco use
  • Shisha tobacco smoking ‘addiction’ has two components – physiological and social