Research carried out by Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), run jointly by the universities of Brighton and Sussex, found that shisha smokers were more likely to gain weight and develop type 2 diabetes in comparison to non-smokers after inhaling 'hookah' fumes.
Shisha smoking uses a multi-stemmed instrument ‘hookah’ for vaporizing flavoured tobacco. Smoke is passed through a water basin – often glass-based – before inhalation.
In the BSMS study, the largest to explore the adverse effects of hookah smoking, the participants’ baseline characteristics were measured against their biochemical results which were observed through blood tests.
Out of the 9,840 participants, 6,742 were non-smokers, 976 were ex-smokers, 864 were cigarette smokers, 1,067 were hookah smokers and 41 were both cigarette and hookah smokers.
Obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids e.g. triglycerides, cholesterol and/or fat phospholipids) in the blood, were all positively associated with hookah smoking while negatively associated with cigarette smoking.