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Water Pipe No Safer Than Cigarettes: Study
Date:4/29/2013

ically burning a charcoal briquette on top of the tobacco, and most of what you're smoking is a moist fruit preparation, which is mixed with the tobacco," Benowitz said. "It smells good and it tastes good."

But, Jacob said, "In addition to delivering toxic substances from the charcoal and tobacco, the heat causes chemical reactions in the mixture, which produce toxic volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Some PAHs are highly carcinogenic and can cause lung cancer."

A 2009 U.S. survey found three in 10 university students had smoked tobacco from a water pipe at least once. Research also showed that water pipe use is more common among white students, men, and fraternity and sorority members.

The study was published online recently in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about water pipes.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of California, San Francisco, news release, April 18, 2013


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