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Study: Hookah Smoking Comes With Cancer, Leukemia Risks

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File photo of hookahs. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for DIFF)

File photo of hookahs. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for DIFF)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Hookah smoking – smoking using a water pipe – comes with several cancer risks.

Researchers involved in a new study, which was based out of the University of California, San Francisco, also found that hookah users may be at a greater risk of developing leukemia.

The study, which was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, involved an analysis of both nicotine and carcinogen exposure in cigarette and water pipe smoking. A reported 13 people participated in the study, according to its abstract summary on the journal’s website.

Results of their examinations indicated that, depending on the smoking method of preference in a given participant, the user was exposed to different harmful ingredients in tobacco smoke.

“A different pattern of carcinogen exposure might result in a different cancer risk profile between cigarette and water pipe smoking,” researchers noted. “Of particular concern is the risk of leukemia related to high levels of benzene exposure with water pipe use.”

Cigarette smoking comes with its own host of risks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

“The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States,” the CDC noted on its official website.

Cancer risks are also said to be elevated in those who smoke cigarettes – lung cancer in particular – as well as likelihood of stroke or coronary heart disease.

The effects of cigarette smoking are well known – the same cannot be said for hookah use, according to those involved in the study.

“Smoking tobacco preparations in a water pipe (hookah) is widespread in many places of the world and is perceived by many as relatively safe,” researchers wrote.

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