Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to your most common questions about shisha smoking
Yes, shisha is also known as argileh, nargileh, hubbly bubbly, hookah or tobamel
No, tobacco-free or herbal shisha products are not healthy options. The smoke from the burning wood or charcoal includes carbon monoxide and other cancer causing chemicals.
There is up to 25 times more tar in shisha than in a cigarette.
Yes, one shisha session, which usually lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes.
See the useful links below.
Yes, shisha tobacco contains nicotine which is an addictive drug.
I don’t use tobacco in my shisha, I only use the 100% organic paste, is this a better option than tobacco shisha?
Even if there is no tobacco in shisha, it still contains toxins and chemicals like carbon monoxide, which are harmful to your health and the health of those around you.
Shisha smoke is just as dangerous as cigarette smoke.
Shisha smoke is produced by heating tobacco in a bowl using charcoal, which creates carcinogens.
There is nothing safe about any form of smoking.
Yes, please check out our online toolkit for ways to get help.
Useful websites about shisha smoking from across the country and the world
The Global Tobacco Atlas website
provides a broad international view of shisha smoking and also looks at the usage of water pipe by women in Middle Eastern countries.
The Truth Initiative:
Inspiring Tobacco-Free Lives website provides information on the increasing use of shisha among high school and middle school students in the USA. Despite not being specific to Australia, the website debunks myths about shisha smoking, which is relevant to populations worldwide.
The World Health Organisation
provides a historical context for the use of shisha worldwide, as well as detailed information on the impact of shisha smoking on health. Guidelines for Governments, Ministries of Health and communities are outlined for how to manage shisha tobacco smoking.
The American Lung Association
provides further information to readers on the health risks of shisha smoking and outlines why shisha use requires greater public attention. Policy recommendations are also provided, although specific to the USA, they may also be relevant to other countries worldwide.
The American Cancer Society
provides information on why shisha smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarettes.
The European Society of Cardiology
website outlines why all forms of smoking, including shisha smoking, are bad for heart health.
The American University of Beirut Medical Centre has released the following videos on shisha smoking:
Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Kills
(English subtitles) (32 secs)
Sound of shisha
(no English subtitles) (1 min 55secs)
Smoking Argileh Awareness
(no English subtitles) (1 min 22 secs)
Evaluation of the raising awareness of the harms of waterpipe use project
Analysis of Facebook comments in response to the Shisha No Thanks video
Other research articles about shisha smoking:
Tobacco and waterpipe use among university students in Saudi Arabia: impact of tobacco sales ban
(Daradka H, Khabour O, Alzoubi K, Nakkash R, & Eissenberg T, 2019)
The prevalence and trends of waterpipe tobacco smoking: A systematic review
(Jawad M, Charide R, Waziry R, Darzi A, Ballout RA, & Akl EA, 2018)
The allure of the waterpipe: a narrative review of factors affecting the epidemic rise in waterpipe smoking among young persons globally
(Akl EA, Ward KD, Bteddini D, Khaliel R, Alexander AC, Lotfi T, Alaouie H, & Afifi RA, 2015)
A review of the health effects of smoking shisha
(Kadhum M, Sweidan A, Jaffery AE, Al-Saadi A, & Madden B, 2015)
Waterpipe tobacco smoking: health effects, research needs and recommended actions for regulators
(WHO study group on Tobacco Product Regulation, 2005)