Thursday, 22 March 2012

Killer Shisha! Or maybe not?


Health Fussbuckets and Trading Standards in Bradford have got terrible agitated about the growing number of shisha bars in the city.

The district has seen a near six-fold increase in the number of shisha lounges over the last five years. There are known to be 17 lounges, up from the three which were operating in 2007
The Freedom of Information data, released by Bradford Council, following a request from The British Heart Foundation, has prompted the charity to issue a warning about the dangers of inhaling the flavoured tobacco through waterpipes. Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said: “Contrary to popular belief, shisha is not safer than smoking cigarettes. 

In fact the most frequently relayed myth about the shisha crops up again:

...a typical one-hour-long shisha smoking session involves inhaling 100–200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette 

Except it isn't quite like that now is it? This from an earlier occasion featuring our National New Puritan Broadcasting Service:

The BBC stands accused of relying on research which has been neither peer-reviewed nor published. The Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre stand accused of issuing 'science by press release.'

..and the real evidence?

"There are numerous studies on this issue and there is absolutely nothing new in this scare-mongering report. The bottom line is that shisha smokers actually experience the same carbon monoxide exposure as cigarette or cigar smokers do."

However, to return to Bradford's own fussbuckets, there's an interesting twist. Shisha is worse for another reason, these people tell us:

...flavoured tobacco is smoked over coals and fumes from these fuels add new toxins to the dangerous smoke...secondhand smoke poses a serious risk for non-smokers, particularly because it contains smoke not only from the tobacco but also from the heat source, such as charcoal

So I guess we need to start a campaign to ban real fires from pubs too? And stop barbecues? We've been told for all these years that 'secondhand' tobacco smoke is uniquely dangerous, yet now the New Puritans are saying what we've always said - that if cigarette side-stream smoke is bad for you so must be any other kind of smoke or particle filled fumes! Such as diesel...


1 comment:

westcoast2 said...

There is an interesting discussion on the 100-200 'myth' and how it is reported over at EP-ology -->