Many bad habits become prevalent between people of different ages and social classes. Many of those who practice these habits are unaware of the negative consequences. The harm caused by these habits arises from the consequences of using them which range from sickness, addiction to even death.
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Nichols and Harlow note, “The tobacco epidemic, for instance, is currently responsible for 4.9 million deaths per year worldwide” (1). These high figures continue to rise each day as the drug epidemic cannot just be wished away. Most smokers start the habit as a joke due to peers’ pressure during their tender age or in order to be included in the company and as a result spend the rest of their lives trying to give up it. Smoking is practiced all over the world.
However, smoking, as one of the bad habits, has become more popular in Arab countries, especially smoking hookah. The origin of the hookah can be traced in the north western provinces of India nearly a millennium ago before its spread to the Middle East. In the Arab contemporary world, hookah is a real social and cultural phenomenon. Hookah’s using can be compared to globalization as far as its popularity in the world is concerned.
In the past few years, hookah has reached Europe and America, though to a limited extent, because cigarettes still dominate the market in these countries. Hookah is a combination of tobacco, honey molasses, and dried fruits. This mixture lies at the head of pottery, which is covered with tin, where a piece of charcoal is put upon. The head is installed on a hollow iron rod from inside, and it ends with a glass bottle filled with cold water.
The smoke is filtered through water to cool and soothe it. Smoke is pulled through a pipe, which is connected to an iron rod. The length of the hookah ranges from less than a meter while it may be two meters in height and end with a twisted hose through which a smoker sucks smoke.This pipe can also be of several meters in length. Moreover, creative people, experimenting with its design, decorate it with different paintings of silver, copper, and mosaic.
This argumentative essay will discuss why smoking hookah is less hazardous at the level of smokers’ life than smoking cigarettes. Smoking hookah should be an alternative to cigarette in the Western countries. Hookah is safe, keeps interpersonal relationships intact, and is less energy crashing, compared to smoking cigarettes.
Firstly, hookah is safer than cigarette in some aspects. Hookah should be more popular than cigarette in the Western countries. The geometric design for hookah makes it more secure than cigarettes because it has a protection system in the exterior design that makes it more fixed, and prevents charcoal from slipping on the floor, thus, prevent fires.
In addition, the long hose helps the smoker to move freely around it. This type of smoking is practiced in the specific places, contrary of cigarette smoking, which can be practiced at any place and burning butts discarded resulting in fire cases.
Secondly, hookah smokers have a positive aspect of their relationships; to keep them away from some personal problems. Cigarette smokers should be more careful on the interpersonal relationship. In fact, cigarettes lead to poor interpersonal relationships because the smoker has a bad smell in the mouth and breath.
Hookah does not leave an awful smell in the mouth, unlike cigarettes, because it made of tobacco, molasses, and dry fruit with elegant flavors. The tobacco used in hookah is called molasses tobacco, with different fruity flavors such as apple, cantaloupe, pineapple, and strawberries.
Adding ice, lemon, or mint to the hookah’s water makes its taste much better. In addition, the pottery head of hookah is replaced with some fruit to promote the flavor of natural fruit. Moreover, it can be said that hookah contains less nicotine, but has different risk effects of smoking cigarettes on the mouth because what the cigarettes contain of a toxic substances.
In addition, the advantages of smoking hookah are having a good atmosphere for relaxation, and less effect of smoking cigarette on the body. Western countries should allow smoking hookah in the coffee shops or at least secure a section for this type of smoking. Arab countries prefer hookah for several reasons including keeping the body active during the day, having a good atmosphere, while communicating with the others.
Smoking more than ten cigarettes per day makes the body feel ecstatic with each cigarette, then minutes later, that energy comes crashing. However, hookah is a one time a day thing, it is not going to crash the body all time such as cigarettes.
In addition, many people believe that hookah creates a romantic atmosphere, which helps get a relaxation after a long day with a partner at home or some friends at hookah bars or coffee shops, away from the pressures of work. Some of the hookah smokers watch TV, listen to music, talk and play some of the popular games like Chess, Card, and Dominoes as they enjoy their puffing.
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As people become deeply intertwined with the modern lifestyles and freedom, they think that a free country should get its smokers their share of human rights which include smoking anywhere they want. However, one needs to question the consequences of smoking in public places, as well from human rights’ point of view if one cigarette is able to kill thousands of people at time because of causing fire or traffic accidents.
It is often reported in the news or in the newspaper that public places have been burnt down because some smoker threw lit cigarettes. Furthermore, these fires often cause human victims and destroy private properties. Research shows that cigarette induced fires are a worrying cause in many western countries.
For example, June et al states that “cigarette fires are leading cause of related deaths in Canada. In 2002 alone, 9, 414 fires were ignited by smokers’ material and open flames, resulting in 688 injuries and 94 deaths” (1). This is a large number of casualties. One has to put in mind the fact that some of the 94 victims were maybe sole providers in their respective families which now have to look for other ways for survival.
The other bigger number that consists of the injured could have also been left with injuries that could affect their lives. In addition to these damages, cigarette fires have destroyed large masses of forests worldwide resulting in massive instability in the ecosystem.
Therefore, banning smoking in government and civil places to maintain the safety of people and property by allocating specific places for smoking outside their departments, with fines should this not b complied to should highly be practiced. Nevertheless, the real tragedy is that most smokers believe that smoking in vehicles is the best solution while driving, as they are far from strict surveillance.
Basing on that school of thought, many traffic accidents occur due to the driver being busy opening a pack of cigarettes and lighting a cigarette, which causes mental dispersion. A research carried out by Koushki, Bustan, for instance, observes that “…those who smoked, were involved in more traffic accidents and very more clearly in more injurious crashes” (9).
On the top of this, throwing cigarettes while driving on the roads may lead to an explosion of vehicles, which may have a leaky gasoline tank. Hookah, therefore, is considered safer than cigarettes as there must be a specific and secure place to use it, and in no particular time will you find a hookah user engaging in this amid driving as it is somehow not possible due to the logistics that accompany its use.
There is another dark side of smokers’ life that threatens their interpersonal relationships. Hutcherson (2002) singled out smoking among other habits that “leave disagreeable in your mouth of your partner” (pg. 88). Most cigarette smokers find themselves in relationship difficulties due to bad breath that they tend to have hence leading them to use mouthwash.
Most married women, who have married smokers, face that problem when their spouses kiss them. In the real sense, spouses cannot use the mouthwash before each kiss. More than that, there are researches that have claimed that using mouthwash can increase cancer risk for smokers.
Here, the problem is aggravated as smoking is one of the major causes of lung cancer and using mouthwash is considered as a catalyst for cancer. It has been established that “tobacco and alcoholic beverages are associated with mouthwash use” (Shmaltz and Arenholt-Bindlev, 2009 pg. 284).
These two are variously researched and found to have a significant potent on pharyngeal cancer. Though no direct relationship between mouthwash and cancer has been established, Hookah does not contain harmful substances that cause a foul. Gandini, et al note that “…mouthwash may affect tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking by acting as an effect modifier smelling mouth” (7), hence one is not required to use mouthwash which may endanger him or her with cancer or other related diseases.
If anything, the tobacco used in hookah is flavored leaving the user with pleasant breath. Another reason why hookah is a better choice than cigarettes is that hookah does not spot or discolor the teeth of the user like cigarette. This is due to the fact that nicotine found in tobacco is filtered through water hence losing that ‘staining’ element that cigarettes contain. Therefore, hookah smokers will have that better smile as compared to cigarette smokers.
Cigarette smokers believe that smoking raises their stimulus to work. In fact, that feeling does not last for long. That makes a smoker go and have another cigarette to restore energy. Even though smokers do their best with the stimulating effects, they end up in taking long breaks intermittently, thus, reducing productivity in the long run. Most smokers have a bad mood and nervous during working that leads to creation lots of problems and discomfort.
For instance, Botello-Harbaum, et al. established “the association between cigarette smoking status and recurrent subjective complaints in a representative sample of students” (pg. 9). These discomforts range from headaches, dizziness, joint pains and even dizziness. The four further noted that daily smokers were likely to experience “recurrent backache, irritability and difficulty in sleeping” (Botello-Harbaum, et al., pg. 9). Cigarette lovers find pleasure and concern at the same time. In contrast, hookah smokers have the best case.
It is so difficult to overcome some bad habits. As stated earlier, problems that are brought about by drug addiction cannot be solved by a mere wish. Other than addiction and eventual diseases that they cause to people, there are shortcomings that come with those bad habits.
These are, for example, social problems as well as accidents related to smoking. Due to the fact that it is not easy to rehabilitate all smokers, people should be given preferences that will help cut down the damage caused by this habit.
That is why, one should consider using hookah instead of cigarettes as it is more hygienic, more relationship friendly and less prone to accidents, such as domestic and forest fires that have caused lots of damage in terms of lost property, injuries and even deaths. This should majorly be embraced mostly in Western countries where the use of hookah is relatively lower as compared to Asia, for example.
Botello-Harbaum, et. al. “Cigarette Smoking Status and Recurrent Subjective Health Complaints among US School-Aged Adolescents.” Child: Care, Health and Development. 28.6 (2010): 1-12. Web.
Bustan, Mahmood and Koushki A. Parvis. “Smoking, Belt Use and a Road Accidents of Youth in Kuwait.’’ Safety Science. 8.3 (2008): 1-9.Web.
Gandini, Sara, et. al. “Mouthwash and Oral Cancer Risk.” Annals of Agricultural Medicine. 1 6. (2012): 1-8.Web. Dec. 2012.
Harlow B. and L. H. B. Nichols. “Childhood Abuse and Risk of Smoking Onset.” Epidemiology & Community Health 29.7 (2003): 1.Web.
Hutcherson, Hilda. What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex. New York: Penguin. 2002. Print.
June, Kristie M, et. al. “Cigarette Ignition Propensity, Smoking Behavior and Toxicant Exposure: A Natural Experiment in Canada”. Tobacco Induced Diseases 13.9 (2011): 255-69. Web.
Shmaltz, Gottfried and Arenholt-Bindslev, D. Biocompatibility of Dental Materials. New York: Springer. 2009. Print.