Understanding the Basics of Shisha
Shisha, a term originated from the Persian word ‘shishe’ which translates to glass, is a tobacco-based product that is smoked using a hookah. Hookahs have been in use since ancient times and have their roots in the Middle East, specifically in countries like Egypt and Turkey. The shisha used in these devices varies significantly, from traditional to more innovative forms, impacting the user’s overall experience and risk factors.
Traditional Shisha: Origin and Health Implications
Traditional shisha, also known as Maassel, is a type of tobacco mix containing molasses and fruit pulp. Some versions might even incorporate honey or semi-dried fruit. Despite its aromatic allure, this traditional form poses significant health risks. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a one-hour-long hookah session may involve inhaling 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled with a single cigarette. This exposure could potentially lead to chronic health issues, including heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases.
Herbal Shisha: A Safer Alternative?
Herbal shisha, which emerged as a safer alternative, substitutes tobacco with a mix of herbs, sugar cane fibre, or tea leaves. These ingredients are then soaked in flavourings and glycerine to mimic the taste and smoking experience of traditional shisha. While the absence of tobacco means no nicotine – an addictive substance linked with heart disease and stroke – herbal shisha still carries risk. The heat source, often charcoal, produces harmful by-products, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and carcinogenic compounds.
Steam Stones: An Innovative Approach
Steam stones represent a more recent innovation in the shisha world. These porous rocks, soaked in glycerine and flavourings, create a vapour when heated, instead of smoke. This vapour is considered less harmful than the smoke produced by traditional or herbal shisha. However, the use of charcoal as a heat source can still expose users to potentially harmful toxins.
Health-focused Strategies and Risk Management
Being aware of the risks associated with different types of shisha can help guide choices and risk management strategies. While complete abstinence is the only sure way to avoid these risks, if you choose to use shisha, there are ways to reduce harm. These include using natural coal or electric heat sources instead of quick-lighting charcoal, which are known to produce higher levels of harmful toxins, ensuring proper ventilation during use, and thoroughly cleaning the hookah apparatus between uses to prevent the buildup of harmful substances.
Exploring Shisha Options with Shisha Mart
At Shisha Mart, an online shisha and hookah store based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, we offer a wide range of shisha products, from traditional and herbal shisha to steam stones. Our goal is to provide you with quality shisha products while also educating you on the risks associated with different types of shisha. We believe in empowering our customers with knowledge, enabling you to make informed decisions about your shisha use.
In your quest for the right balance between tradition and innovation, it’s essential to remember that while different types of shisha may alter the risk profile, no form is entirely risk-free. By taking the time to understand these risks and how they can be managed, you can make more informed choices and enjoy your shisha experience responsibly.