ISSUE OF THE DAY: “Our Opinion: Water pipes don't protect against tobacco's harm” (Editorial). Honolulu Star-Bulletin of August, 20, 2006.
Image: from similar story published 17 August
THEIR “OPINION”: “Few studies have focused on the water pipes, called hookah or narghile, but they provide no evidence that use of water pipes is less dangerous than cigarettes.”
OURS: Few studies ? When at least 40 studies (topped with a recent report of the World Health Organization, prepared by cohorts of experts around the world) have been published on the subject over the past 3 years ! See here for a review of some of them. Is this acknowledgement of intellectual failure ?
THEIR “OPINION”: “Sterling Yee, president of the American Lung Association of Hawaii, issued a warning this week that young people's use of hookah involves inhaling "high levels of arsenic, chromium and lead into their lungs, no matter how exotic or socially acceptable the delivery method seems to be."”
OURS: Only “young people" ? Besides, the study referred to was based on a smoking machine, not humans, and prepared with only one type of smoking product, one type of charcoal and one type of pipe (plus many other details). Therefore, it is not surprise that in the end the levels of toxic substances are not in agreement with those found in other unadvertised experiments…
THEIR “OPINION”: “Frequent puffing is needed to keep the coals burning.”
OURS: Um… This is news to us…
THEIR “OPINION”: “Little is known about hookah's health effects, demonstrated by contradictory information issued by different organizations.”
OURS: Um… This is interesting because all organizations of the world are actually part of a federative consensus in this field. The only voiced dissent came from an original though lonely researcher. So, he will sure be pleased to know he now represents, alone, “different organizations”...
THEIR “OPINION”: “Yee cited a World Health Organization advisory that a water pipe produces as much smoke during a one-hour session as five to 10 packs of cigarettes. A Florida spokesman for the American Cancer Society told the Miami Herald that a normal session of 45 minutes is equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes.”
OURS: This Dr Yee is not aware that the fateful errors contained in the cited report and brought out, once again, by the above researcher, actually reduced to nil the value of the WHO document. One hookah would now equal only 1 pack of cigarettes ? Really ? Why not 2, 5 or 10 anymore ? Since we are a bit tired of this pseudo-scientific gossip, please see this counter-analysis and these comments if you know nothing about others’ cultures and still are not sure whom to trust.
Now that citizens on Earth are obviously brain-washed around the clock, suppose we live in Mars with no social and cultural history. Suddenly the vessel of the American Lung Cancer Association lands on our planet and its staff begins to state in public that a one-hour hookah session equals 1 or 10 packs of cigarettes. Sure the callow Martians would tell ad lib these aliens that if hookah smokers are apparently not dying so quickly (taking into account the hypothetical hazardous exposure), this may simply due (who knows ?) to the chemical fact that hookah smoke is actually 20 (1 pack of 20 units) to 200 (10 packs of 20 units) times LESS dangerous than cigarette smoke. Yes or nay ?
Besides, if their tale had been true, then the peoples of Asia and Africa, whose countries were flooded with tobacco by the Europeans in the 16th century, might be entitled to demand the latter total compensation for such a wide-scale injury wilfully caused to them.
THEIR “OPINION”: “The few studies available have provided "limited data to suggest that water-pipe smoke is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke," according to an article last year in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
OURS: Yes, this is article is excellent-because-it-is-cited-everywhere, including in the famous WHO report. Isn’t it amazing that these kinds of editorials always avoid mentioning the critique that goes with ?
THEIR “OPINION”: “More studies are likely to be conducted if the hookah's surge in popularity continues, while Internet sites peddling hookah products continue praising the practice. Anybody who begins a hookah habit before more studies have been completed is taking an enormous risk.”
OURS: Do studies on any subject need to be conducted only if there is a growing popularity behind ? The above independent researcher actually began his studies ten years ago when nobody was paying the least attention to the hookah. Today, research in this field receives millions and millions of dollars for unfortunately poor results. Should science and public health be managed like show business ventures ? The last sentence will not be commented because it’s really too funny. What a strange editorial it is indeed !
By The Team of a site “peddling hookah products” and “praising the practice”. With love and science.
YOU ARE NOT ON THE HOME PAGE of the OBSERVATORY on HOOKAH and HEALTH (Narghile, "Waterpipe", Health, Risks, Dangers, Diseases, Tar, Nicotine, Cancer). CLICK HERE to go there !
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Saturday, August 26, 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Demand (MPs, etc.) that your country withdraw from the totalitarian FCTC treaty (“Framework Convention for “Tobacco Control””). Write to Hugo Chávez Frías, outspoken President of Venezuela so that he can spark it off and smash the pharmaceutical lobbies behind. An initiative launched in The Hague on March 15, 2010