Jump to content


Vested Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

1 Follower

About mgcsinc

  • Rank
    Emir - Of the Emerald Argileh

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Providence, RI & Washington, DC
  1. Sonthert, I haven't had time to read through your replies, but I'll get to responding fully at some point soon. I'm actually (honestly) in the middle of preparing a research article on which I am first author for publication in a top journal in my field (Cognitive Neuroscience). Maybe I'll have time this weekend. Thanks for acknowledging the cotinine thing, btw. I only read a couple of things you wrote back. Incidentally, I will point out that you still don't seem to have read my explanation of the use of 'tar' in quotation marks. This is important, because many cigarette companies would argue that one cigarette's tar is completely incapable of being compared to another, but the federal government still requires them to measure a magical quantity called 'tar', which may or may not be meaningless. People here wanted to know about 'tar', which I told them about, making sure to point out the caveat that the quantities cannot be measured accurately. Also, as you would know if you read the paper I've mentioned a thousand times, the tar quantity was measured in units of mass, not volume. This is by prescription of the federal government's labeling requirements for cigarettes, I believe. I should clarify my point about your scientific background. I was wrong to assume you lacked one. It is clear that you and I come from different scientific disciplines. In a biological sciences, academic (read: Universities) journal, the article that I've linked to was formatted in exactly the way it should have been, and presents its results as they should be presented. I'll reply more when I get a chance.
  2. QUOTE (amnite @ Jul 16 2007, 08:32 AM) Apparently it was scrapped and is now brought back. A french scientist has been researching the effects of hookah for the last 10 years, his research shows that hoffman's reports and many other scientists from years back were infact correct Be careful before you believe or cite Dr. Kamal Chaouachi. His background is, apparently, not scientific. Additionally, he is a loose cannon (based on my personal communications with him, during which he accused me of being part of a massive conspiracy, going so far as to ask me to reveal the names of those 'hiding in the shadows behind me'), and has been publicly discredited more than once.
  3. QUOTE (Sonthert @ Jul 16 2007, 05:43 AM) Bad news for you, sunshine. Cotenine (sp?) is an oxidation product of nicotine...that is, it is created when tobacco is burned...it just adds more fuel to the fire that sheesha doesn't burn (Pardon the pun). Cotenine is not produced by the human body, at least from my reading of the Merck Index, but by burning...so obviously its level in the bloodstream doesn't go up from smoking a hookah. Cotenine isn't a metabolite...where are you getting this manure? Somebody's citing something that isn't true. I may have to read over it again, just to make sure, but I read that monograph with great interest many times. Oxidation product, not metabolite. Besides, why are we comparing hookahs and cigarettes? Why do we use the most dangerous of the tobacco products? According to the old Surgeon General's Reports, mortality rates in people smoking pipes (independent of average per day or length of habit), or less than 5 cigars per day are not different than for non-smokers. Hookahs are a lot closer, from a functional perspective, to a pipe than to a cigarette or even closer to a cigar. Why make the worst possible parallel that just strengthens the case? Obviously, if unbiased scientific researchers were studying this, they would be making closer comparisons...they choose to make the worst possible associations to make their case seem more important. If I chose to compare a virus with another virus, and I wanted to bias people's opinions, I would compare it to bubonic plague or herpes. I choose the framework of a comparison...If I were comparing a duck to another animal, would I choose a snake or a chicken? Ducks are closer to chickens, rationally, unless you wanted to make a case for how dangerous ducks (or hookahs) were, then you would compare them to dangerous snakes. I think it goes without saying that the continued comparison of cigarettes to hookahs is distorting the case to begin with. Smoking a pipe burns tobacco, it contains nicotine. It contains all the same chemicals as cigarettes...yet, it doesn't seem to increase mortality rate. How could that be? It must be unreasonable to compare pipes and cigarettes in terms of mortality rate, which seems pretty damned important. If it isn't reasonable to compare pipes and cigarettes...why is it reasonable to compare hookahs and cigarettes? Come on, don't resort to calling me things like 'sunshine' - it's just not nice, and ad hominem attacks are not useful to anyone Every piece of tobacco control literature I've ever read has indicated that cotinine (correct spelling) is a nicotine metabolite. Either your source is wrong, you misread it, or a large body of science is wrong. You can guess which of these I think it is. Furthermore, in a hilarious twist, even if you're right about it being a combustion product, you just admitted to me that there is combustion taking place, because you didn't read my original post carefully enough. In fact, cotinine levels in hookah smokers WAS higher than controls, just not higher than the cigarette smokers. Why compare hookah to cigarettes rather than cigars or pipes? Because hookah and cigarettes are both inhaled, while the other forms are not. This seems simple enough to me.
  4. QUOTE (Sonthert @ Jul 16 2007, 05:27 AM) Blowing things out of proportion, again? Do look at the thread mgc linked: http://www.hookahforum.com/index.php?showt...mp;#entry102867 Read my entry regarding the toxicity of the heavy metals in question. Tons of Beryllium...1000 years of smoking would build up a 50% toxic dose. Oooh. Big threat. Beryllium was the worst of the ones I found LD50s for. Even using that study's data, in that link, it would take over 4,000 years to get a 50% toxic dose of lead. In response to your four points: 1. It isn't smoke that comes out of most hookahs...its vapor. There is a distinct difference, in many ways between the two. Especially in their health effects. One has been studied, the other has not. In fact, as I understand smoking a hookah, you get ZERO cigarettes worth of smoke from smoking a hookah. No smoke. Tar, as you conceded, from a hookah is different. You are now applying cigarette tar equivalents to hookahs, when they are vastly different. They aren't comparable, or if they are, there is no data that I have seen to prove that they are. Its incredibly dishonest to try to compare them when you acknowledge they are different without showing something to show that the tars are comparable. Nicotine is a health problem...how? How do you calculate that cancer potential? If nobody has done studies to make a legitimate case about how carcinogenic hookahs are, how is that number arrived at? Divining rod? 2. I agree. 3. I agree. Since hookah tobacco isn't smoked, your contention is irrelevant. 4. I looked at their apparatus...as a scientist, I had some questions. Ones that had no answers, since it was an on-line article. I don't agree with your contention. There is no official real-world way of smoking hookah. It all varies, so it may apply to how you smoke hookah, might it might not apply to how I smoke hookah, so it couldn't be a good replication. Its like replicating how two people screw. There is no official way (that I know of). Can I come up with a better apparatus? I'm not sure, but I am entitled to criticize their apparatus just as much as you are entitled to believe it replicates. How do you know that websites that criticize this study didn't read the study? I read it and I'm criticizing it. Not really, but their study looked awful, their data was presented poorly and the data regarding the heavy metals was under the heading of "So what"? Its not uncommon for a poorly done study to be read by critics and closed when they find a serious, basic problem with it...why read on? The same way people walk out of a movie. I can criticize a movie I walked out of the same way someone who didn't read an entire study that was horribly flawed scientifically can shoot it down. I am not saying that the study was horribly flawed. I'm saying in general. I'm not going to keep reading a study that attributes a systematic error to "god's whims". Its absurd and it makes the study not worth reading. You always say that people can't criticize it if they don't read it...who says? First, let me address the aspects of what I've said that you are misrepresenting: 1. I never claimed that nicotine is a "health problem" in terms of negative health outcomes. I've explained this time and time again in the past. My acknowledgment of this is also inherent in my assertion that 'herbal' shishas are not safer. I don't know where in the world you got the idea that I thought it was a health problem. The only reason I mentioned it is because people seem interested to know about the nicotine content in hookah, because of its (supposed) addictive potential. 2. I did not, on first principals, apply tar equivalences to hookah smoke. I was simply responding to the constant debate that is going on here and in some scientific venues about such an equivalence. There is a reason I used 'tar' in quotation marks, and it's the same reason that it is used in quotation marks on cigarette packs, i.e. to avoid making any specific claims about what that 'tar' contains. 'tar' has a specific scientific meaning, and under that scientific meaning, hookah has the 'tar' content that I described. How on earth am I being dishonest when you note that I have specifically acknowledged the differences in the 'tar' contents? Acknowledging a flaw is, like, the definition of honesty. What I really don't get is that you seem to have misunderstood the entire purposed of my post, which, rather than "blowing things out of proportion", was designed to give an understanding of the way that the comparisons made by some scientists were technically accurate (contrary to some cries otherwise) but of dubious usefulness. Thus, I move on to my next point... 3. I never calculated a cancer potential. I said "less than 1 cigarette worth of carciongenicity". How, in your wildest dreams, that could appear to be a precise calculation, I don't know. I didn't say "about 1 cigarette..." or "almost 1 cigarette..." - I used "less than" for a reason. The only things that I meant to communicate with that statement were my beliefs that there is some amount (no specified quantity) of carcinogenicity involved, and that quantity is less than a cigarette. The latter idea comes from the various reasons (which you have articulated) for thinking that 'tar' from hookah is less carcinogenic than 'tar' from cigarettes. Now, for your point #4. So far as I'm concerned, your discussion about the study I linked to betrays the fact that you have limited understanding of the scientific process, at least in this field and any field in which I have ever been involved. Just to make sure we're actually talking about the same thing, I'm discussing the article at http://webfea-lb.fea.aub.edu.lb/aerosol/do...gilehpaper1.pdf . 1. This is not an "on-line article". This is quite simply not true. It was published in 2003 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, vol 41, pp. 143-152. Any 'scientist' would have understood that after 5 seconds of reading the front material of the article. 2. The majority of criticisms that I have read of this and other studies have demonstrated large misunderstandings of the apparatus. This is how I know that the critics did not actually read the study. 3. A scientific study is not like a movie. In science, one does not get one or two pages into a study and decide they don't like it, and walk away without making substantive criticisms. This study was published in a peer-reviewed journal, so at least two scientists unrelated to the original author read and accepted the manuscript. This is how it works in science, and it's a system designed so that papers which are eventually published are of high enough quality that you can't just reject them without making specific, pointed criticisms. 4. My praise of the author's apparatus was not an attempt at calling it perfect, but rather, a response to criticisms that compare it to the continuous smoking machines of smoking research past. I was simply indicating that, compared to previous methods, these methods are much more accurate. IN FACT, they were designed based on observing patrons at an actual hookah lounge. 5. I invite you to explain what made the study 'look awful'. 6. The assertion that their data was presented poorly is strange to me. I've seen much worse, and I actually think their data was presented quite well. Explain what you mean. 7. "the data regarding the heavy metals was under the heading of "So what"?"; "I'm not going to keep reading a study that attributes a systematic error to "god's whims"" - I'm assuming these are not specific references to this study? If so, I'm confused. To be fair, I've saved your best point for last: vapor v. smoke. My understanding is that there are elements of the shisha that pyrolate at the circa-500 degree centigrade temperatures reached by the coal. However, I admit that the nature of the content of the 'smoke' that is coming off the shisha is not well understood, and I am open to the idea that it is simply glycerine vapor. I'll leave that discussion for another day, when I am more prepared for it. As it is, I have never made any specific claims about the carcinogenicity of hookah smoke.
  5. QUOTE (Furio @ Jul 15 2007, 04:46 PM) here is a test to prove that the water helps filter out the tar in shisha (or at least a lot of it). Take a puff or 2 on a cig, then blow onto your nail. After 3 or 4 times you will see that some brown stuff starts to show up. Do it with shisha and you will find that it would take around 30/40 puffs to show that amount of tar on your nail. What you're demonstrating has nothing to do with the raw 'tar' content of the smoke. It has to do with two things: 1. The 'tar' produced by shisha is of a different nature (and a different color) from that produced by cigarettes. 2. If you were to do this with a balloon and a pump rather than a set of lungs, you'd see different results. Hookah smoke is inhaled much deeper than cigarette smoke, so you can't expect what's left in the inhaled gas to represent the same thing for the two smoking methods. QUOTE (jonny_lech @ Jul 15 2007, 05:09 PM) I've always suspected something like this. While I'm sure some of ciggarette addiction is the psychological impact of the act; every time I've smoked hookah socially with people who are *regular* ciggarette smokers have always had to smoke a ciggarette during the session. This was with using unwashed shisha. True. Nicotine addiction is an interesting thing. The physiological, psychological, and addictive effects of nicotine depend not only on how much nicotine is delivered, but various other factors such as speed of delivery and consistency of presence in the blood. Interestingly, hookah is more effective at producing increases in blood nicotine than cigarette smoking, for the same quantity of inhaled nicotine. However, blood increases in cotinine (a nicotine metabolite) may not be greater for hookah. This is just an example of how complicated nicotine metabolism is in the body.
  6. QUOTE (amnite @ Jul 15 2007, 03:37 PM) yep read it.. hmm never knew thailand banned hookahs, yeh i see now the effects hookah, theres too little research I hope good research comes along... oh yh mgcsinc do you smoke hookah? If so how many sessions a day/week.... I smoke 1-3 sessions a week, and they're usually like 1.5-3 hours long. I love it, and wouldn't give it up unless I thought smoking at that frequency was seriously damaging my body; as yet, that hasn't really been demonstrated to me, and I don't expect it to be. That said, I'm only 21, and I don't expect to continue using hookah with this frequency far into the future.
  7. QUOTE (amnite @ Jul 15 2007, 03:12 PM) I read the website, yes its good but is this true? "One session of hookah smoke (approx. 45 min.) is the equivalent of smoking one pack of cigarettes per day. The blood levels and genetic changes of the bronchial tubes and chromosome changes of hookah and cigarette smokers are about the same. There is just as much damage from both." Is that by yourself or with people? The website doesnt say The website is just an interview, and interviews often don't give the kind of detail you're looking for. There's a good review article that will give you a full set of references: Maziak et al. "Tobacco smoking using a waterpipe: a re-emerging strain in a global epidemic." Tob. Control (2004) 13: 327-333. It may or may not (I don't know if it requires an institutional account) be available at: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/13/4/327 If you can't access it, let me know.
  8. QUOTE (Ehagen8008 @ Jul 15 2007, 02:48 PM) dont forget to add: ZERO cigarettes worth of rat poison and other crap they put in cigarettes... One fair criticism of tobacco researchers of the past is that they put too much emphasis on additives. It was a scare tactic designed to disgust people. It worked. Unfortunately, it obscured the truth, so I'll repeat it, again: the word 'tar' has nothing to do with what cigarette companies add to cigarettes. It's fun to think that shisha is much less dangerous for you because there is nothing added, but it's just a fantasy.naturally occurring substances can cause cancer, and in the case of tobacco, they do.the smoke from shisha contains copious amounts of 'tar', and it has not yet been demonstrated how this compares with cigarette smoke in terms of carcinogenicity.
  9. QUOTE (dcrooksjr @ Jul 15 2007, 01:26 PM) I'm skeptical about the research concerning hookah. I fully under stand its bad. But when I consider how the anti-tobacco movement thought they were winning then along comes the hookah, I'm firmly of the opinion that they doctured the reasearch to make it seem worse than it really is. I use the culture that the hookah comes from as an example based on moderation they have lower cancer than with cigarette smokers. Cigarette smokers tend to chain smoke one after the other, but If you smoke a bowl a week. Yes you will have a higher cancer risk than a non-smoker, but I also think that you'll have less risk than a cigarette smoker who smokes a pack or two a day. QUOTE (dcrooksjr @ Jul 15 2007, 01:33 PM) I just found an article that says that their has not been enough proper research on the hookah to determine 100% good or bad. http://hookahviews.com/health.php I am consistently amazed at the degree to which people are willing to villainize tobacco researchers. The tobacco health debate was, for many decades, a fight between two groups: (a.) Large corporations full of savy business people interested, most of all, in the bottom line, and (b.) scientists, who became scientists in the interest of finding the truth, and who are not motivated by enormous profits. Somehow, tobacco marketing in last century was effective enough to convince people that it was the latter group that was evil and prone to ethical slips. What's most hilarious about it all is that the tobacco companies' internal documents (which were released as part of a settlement, and are now publicly available) show that all this time they knew (their own researchers had found) much of what they were attempting to disgrace the public health scientists for claiming. People's apparent hatred for the anti-tobacco movement is, in my mind, a disgraceful demonstration of ignorance. Incidentally, I suggest that people actually read the link in dcooksjr's post.
  10. QUOTE (amnite @ Jul 15 2007, 01:02 PM) so basically to put in easier terms.. how many cigerettes am I smoking if I smoke a 40 mins session of an Al Fakher branded molasses, 3 kings charcoal along with a standard shisha with foil covering... smoking with friends... a rough estimate or is it not possible to tell... i am not sure how many puffs but lets say an estimate Looking at that research it has been critised before that smoking machine taking continous puffs is unfair testing read from narghiles website 1. The question of cigarette equivalence (how many cigs am I smoking if I do XYZ) is loaded, because hookah is inherently different. The question has to be asked differently, in terms of specific types of effects. I'd say that given the details that you mention, assuming you are smoking with two other people, you are getting (estimates): 50 cigarettes worth of inhaled smoke5 cigarettes worth of 'tar'1/3 a cigarette worth of nicotine (assuming unwashed tobacco)1-2 cigarettes worth of blood nicotine increaseless than 1 cigarette worth of carciongenicity (cancer potential) 2. There is absolutely no reason to think that Soex or other herbal shishas are less dangerous (in terms of negative health outcomes, not addictive potential). 3. There is no such thing as a plant that can be smoked without producing 'tar'. 4. The machines used to simulate smoking hookah in some studies (including the one I'm always linking to) replicate real-world smoking patterns very well. They are not the continuous smoking machines of yesteryear. Websites that criticize methodologies without reading them - assuming that the old criticisms of cigarette research are the same here - are doing a great disservice to people reading them and to the scientists that spent many man hours developing these methods.
  11. Before people reject all research about hookah health based on methodology, they should read the methodology: http://www.hookahforum.com/index.php?act=f...&pid=102867 Further, let me deconstruct some (paraphrased) arguments: 1. "I don't feel bad after I smoke hookah, but I do after I smoke cigarettes" - All this says is that the shisha is less abrasive to your lungs. In the first half of the century, it was common for cigarette brands to advertise that their brand was preferred by doctors because it was less abrasive to smoke. Unfortunately, the way that something makes you feel when you smoke it says absolutely nothing about it's carcinogenicity, and is thus a completely useless statistic. 2. When cigarette companies label tar on their packages, it refers to the amount of particulate matter produced by the cigarette when smoked using a particular FDA or FTC protocol. If shisha companies had to follow the same labeling restrictions, the tar counts on their products would be through the roof. The following is not conjecture, but rather, fact: the word 'tar' has nothing to do with what cigarette companies add to cigarettes. It's fun to think that shisha is much less dangerous for you because there is nothing added, but it's just a fantasy.naturally occuring substances can cause cancer, and in the case of tobacco, they dothe smoke from shisha contains copius amounts of 'tar', and it has not yet been demonstrated how this compares with cigarette smoke in terms of carcinogenicity.3. The WHO is not a first-hand scientific organization. They do not conduct scientific studies about hookah smoking. Scientists would not, generally, cite WHO reports as evidence of something in a paper. Likewise, it is silly to argue against WHO reports. Rather, you should take the time to locate the original research on which these reports are based, and read them. You may find that you're surprised by how carefully some of this research is conducted.
  12. QUOTE (tj154906 @ Jun 30 2007, 01:32 AM) There is just as much, or possibly more, evidence supporting the opposite. Make sure that she understands this. I wish that this was true - it would make smoking hookah much less of a guilty pleasure for me There is a rogue researcher (Kamal Chaouachi) in France/Italy who seems to believe that hookah is a delightful pleasure with no risk and even some benefits. If you'd like a summary of research showing that hookah smoking is not dangerous, they you can check out his stuff. I'll warn you, though, that sifting through the research he cites might inspire exactly the opposite conclusion from the one he hopes you'll draw from his article. In order to find research that suggests a lack of danger, you have to really dig. Dr. Chaouachi cites a number of old studies that use outdated methods because, frankly, the new studies reach conclusions that he'd rather not accept. A building abundance of research suggests that there are potential health risks in hookah smoke at a level similar to or higher than that of cigarette smoke. Because hookah smoking in the form that we see it today in America (infrequent use of Maassal tobacco) has not existed for long (Maassal didn't even exist until the 90's), epidemiological studies of true health effects don't exist, so no one can say anything one way or another about the real health effects.
  13. To answer your basic question as to whether there is any research about nicotine-free 'herbal' tobaccos (which are not tobacco at all, btw), the answer is simple: no, there is not any research. I have done a thorough lit review (a real, scientific review covering articles found through typical means - PubMed, etc. - and through references, even covering articles in foreign journals that do not enjoy normal readership/archiving in US universities) and found not one mention of herbal shishas (that I can recall). There is a basic consensus around here about Soex/Black Label's health effects, and it goes something like this: 1. Nicotine isn't that bad for you. 2. Carcinogens are really bad for you. 3. There is no reason to think (really, honestly, no reason to think) that 'herbal' shishas contain fewer carcinogens than real tobacco shishas. 4. Ergo, there is no reason to think that 'herbal' shishas are really less dangerous for you.
  14. QUOTE (Calcartman @ Jul 2 2007, 11:00 PM) QUOTE (deltr @ Jul 3 2007, 12:23 AM) QUOTE (Sonthert @ Jul 2 2007, 06:31 PM) Tar is meaningless in hookah tobacco...glycerine is tar, in the literal sense. Since it doesn't burn, it means little. They mean tar, like as in road tar. Do you mean it means little as in we shouldn't worry about it or it means little cause carcinogens such as tar are omnipresent in tobacco products? It means little as in what they write on the side of the tub has no bearing on the amount of tar actually produced by smoking. Yup. It is totally incapable of being compared to what's written on cigarette packages. Incidentally, I'm curious: what was your original impression of the difference between shisha and tobacco? I'm not trying to be mean or anything - just curious.
  15. QUOTE (poopooshaboo @ Jul 1 2007, 02:15 AM) That's because (i think) the smoke is going over the taste buds on the back of your tongue, which are much more sensitive than the ones in the front. Meh... not really. The 'tasting' of complex flavors like those in hookah smoke is not done in the mouth by the taste buds, but rather in the nose by the olfactory system. This explains why inhaling all the way is better at delivering strong flavors.
  • Create New...