E-Cigarettes and Narghile: Devices to a Fatal Addiction



Mathew BC 1, Daniel RS 1, Campbell IW 2

1-Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, El Gabal El Gharby University, Gharyan , Libya. 2- Victoria Hospital, Bute Medical School, University of St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom

JMJ 2009;9(4):245-249


Although smoking has been a major public health issue for many decades, a fairly new concern is the recent surge in development of new tobacco products and a revival of smoking methods that claim to reduce exposure to harmful tobacco constituents or that have fewer risks than cigarette smoking. Electronic cigarettes and water-pipe smoking are the two such faces of smoking that are gaining popularity worldwide .Electronic cigarettes are being promoted as a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking, and as a legitimate therapy for smokers trying to quit .However, no rigorous peer-reviewed studies have been conducted showing that the electronic cigarette is a safe and effective nicotine replacement therapy. On the contrary, the nicotine delivered by the electronic cigarette may be a “gateway” to other stimulant use. Tobacco smoking using a water pipe or narghile is a re-emerging strain in a global epidemic that has seen a worldwide resurgence in its use. The popular perception of water pipe smoking (WPS) less harmful than cigarettes is a total “farce” with studies reporting that the mainstream narghile smoke contain an abundance of toxic chemicals including carbon monoxide, nicotine,” tar” and heavy metals that are thought to be causal factors in the elevated incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease and addiction. Epidemiological and toxicological research is needed to study the additive properties, and the associated health risks, both for users and “passive smokers” of narghile. Aggressive interventions and a timely public health policy action is needed in order to curb the emerging narghile smoking epidemic.

Keywords: Addiction, Cancer, Electronic cigarette, Narghile , Nicotine.

Link/DOI: http://www.jmj.org.ly/PDF/winter2009/245.pdf