Joe Smirkin It ain't cool - most kids don't smoke, Don't be in the minority - join us! Tasha Smirkin

When is a cigarette not a cigarette?

Cigarettes aren't the only way of experiencing tobacco.

Water Pipe

Water Pipes

Water pipes (also known as hookahs, narghiles, shisha or hubble-bubble pipes) consist of a head, body, water bowl and hose. Tobacco, often flavoured with fruits and sugar syrup, is placed in the head and covered with perforated foil. Burning charcoal is placed on top of the foil.

The bowl is filled with water (submerging a tube for the smoke). Sucking on the hose creates a vacuum above the water causing the smoke to pass through the water producing bubbles and the familiar 'hubble-bubble' sound.

Some people mistakenly believe that the water filters out harmful substances in the tobacco smoke before it is inhaled. This is not true and water pipe smoking delivers addictive nicotine in just the same way as a cigarette.

Water pipe users have an increased risk of cancer of the lungs, mouth and bladder compared to non-smokers. It is also associated with cardiovascular disease and respiratory disorders.

Dads thoughts on chewing tobacco

Smokeless tobacco

Another form of ingesting tobacco doesn't involve 'smoking' at all.

Chewing tobacco is popular with some ethnic groups. Tobacco is combined with other ingredients to form a packet or 'quid'. Betel pepper leaf used as the wrapping has a mint flavour and is relatively harmless, however the tobacco contained inside is not.

A ready-made mixture known as 'gutka' is marketed amongst some ethnic minorities and looks appealing to children as are 'bidis'. 'Bidis' are small, thin, unfiltered cigarettes which are cheaper than western style cigarettes and are often flavoured with cardamom, chocolate and strawberry.

Over 90% of oral cancer patients use tobacco either by smoking or chewing.

Cannabis cigarettes

The drug Cannabis has doubled in strength every decade since the 1960's.

Of the 7000 individual studies examining the dangers of cannabis, not one has concluded that the drug is safe and smoking three cannabis cigarettes carries the same health risks as smoking 20 regular cigarettes.

This drug contains 400 chemicals. Many are the same chemicals found in regular cigarettes only in far higher concentrations. Cannabis cigarettes contain five times the quantity of carbon monoxide and four times the quantity of tar.

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