Most users of water pipes and many physicians believe that smoking through a water pipe filters out the toxic components of tobacco and is considerably less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
Led by Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, MD, PhD, of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, researchers set out to compare lung function and respiratory symptoms among water pipe smokers, deep or normal inhalation cigarette smokers, and non-smokers.
Three groups of smokers, including 57 water pipe smokers, 30 deep inhalation cigarette smokers (S-DI), and 51 normal inhalation cigarette smokers (S-NI) were identified and studied. In addition, 44 non-smokers were studied as a control group.
A questionnaire was administered to assess the prevalence and severity of respiratory symptoms and lung function tests performed on smokers and control subjects using a spirometer.
Results showed an increased prevalence and severity of respiratory symptoms among water pipe smokers and cigarette smokers. Similar effects of water pipe smoking and deep inhalation cigarette smoking on respiratory status were found.
Wheezing was present in 23% of water pipe smokers, 30% in S-DI, and 21.6% in S-NI. Chest tightness was present in 36.8% of water pipe smokers, 40% in S-DI, and 29.4% in S-NI. Cough was present in 21% of water pipe smokers, 36.7% of S-DI, and 19.6% of S-NI. Wheezing, chest tightness, and cough only occurred in non-smokers 9.1%, 13.3% and 6.8% respectively.
“Our study is the first report regarding the importance of the method of cigarette smoke inhalation with respect to effects on the respiratory system,” Boskabady concludes. “Our findings reveal that there were profound effects of water pipe smoking on lung function values, which were similar to the effects observed in deep inhalation cigarette smokers.”
This study is published in the journal Respirology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact [email protected]
Full citation: Boskabady et al Comparison of pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms in water pipe and cigarette smokers. Respirology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2012.02194.x
About the Author: Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, MD, PhD, is affiliated with Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.
To contact the Author, please contact [email protected]
About the Journal:
Respirology is a journal of international standing, publishing peer-reviewed articles of scientific excellence in clinical and experimental respiratory biology and disease and its related fields of research including thoracic surgery, internal medicine, immunology, intensive and critical care, epidemiology, cell and molecular biology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology and pediatric respiratory medicine. For more information about the journal, please visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1440-1843.
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