Muddying the Hookah Water

Yesterday The New York Times marked World No Tobacco Day with a front-page story that illustrates the pervasive evasiveness of the anti-smoking movement regarding the relative hazards posed by different forms of tobacco consumption. The article, about burgeoning bans on hookah bars, admits that the main goal of this policy is not to protect bystanders from secondhand smoke but to protect patrons of these establishments from their own unhealthy habits. Given this context, readers naturally will want to know how the hazards of hookahs compare to the hazards of cigarettes. Yet the Times deliberately dodges this question. Here is how the story opens:

Kevin Shapiro, a 20-year-old math and physics major at the University of Pennsylvania, first tried a hookah at a campus party. He liked the exotic water pipe so much that he chipped in to buy one for his fraternity house, where he says it makes a useful social lubricant at parties.

Like many other students who are embracing hookahs on campuses nationwide, Mr. Shapiro believes that hookah smoke is less dangerous than cigarette smoke because it "is filtered through water, so you get fewer solid particles."

"Considering I don't do it that often, once a month if that, I'm not really concerned with the health effects," he added.

But in fact, hookahs are far from safe.

Despite the implication, there is no contradiction between the belief that "hookah smoke is less dangerous than cigarette smoke," or the belief that occasional hookah smoking does not pose a health risk that is worth worrying about, and the statement that "hookahs are far from safe." Later the Times further muddies the hookah water:

Researchers say the notion that water filters all the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke is a myth. So, too, they say, is the idea that because hookah smoking is an occasional activity, users are inhaling much less smoke than cigarette users.

Many young adults are misled by the sweet, aromatic and fruity quality of hookah smoke, which causes them to believe it is less harmful than hot, acrid cigarette smoke. In fact, because a typical hookah session can last up to an hour, with smokers typically taking long, deep breaths, the smoke inhaled can equal 100 cigarettes or more, according to a 2005 study by the World Health Organization.

That study also found that the water in hookahs filters out less than 5 percent of the nicotine. Moreover, hookah smoke contains tar, heavy metals and other cancer-causing chemicals. An additional hazard: the tobacco in hookahs is heated with charcoal, leading to dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide, even for people who spend time in hookah bars without actually smoking, according to a recent University of Florida study. No surprise, then, that several studies have linked hookah use to many of the same diseases associated with cigarette smoking, like lung, oral and bladder cancer, as well as clogged arteries, heart disease and adverse effects during pregnancy.

When "researchers" deny "the notion that water filters all the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke," they implicitly concede that it filters some of those chemicals. The Paris-based tobacco researcher Kamal Chaouachi, an expert on hookahs and a frequent critic of lazy propaganda equating them with cigarettes, cites research finding that hookah water can absorb 80 percent to 90 percent of the "tar" in unfiltered smoke.

In an interview with Chris Snowdon, Chaouachi cautions against facile comparisons between hookah and cigarette smoke, noting that the tobacco mixture in hookahs (which typically includes molasses and fruit) is heated to a much lower temperature:

The smoking mixture in a modern hookah (as it is used in Europe or the USA) is not burnt but heated to a great extent. This "detail" has tremendous chemical consequences because, in the end, the smoke is much less complex than that generated by a cigarette....Only a few hundred compounds vs. a few thousand were found in [the two] cases.

Chaouachi also warns that chemical analyses based on experiments with smoking machines (such as the one described here) can be misleading because machines do not smoke the same way humans do—a point that anti-smoking activists have been making for years regarding the "FTC method" for measuring cigarette yields. The chemical content of the smoke is obviously important to know in evaluating the health implications of the claim that the volume of smoke inhaled in one hookah session "can equal" the smoke inhaled from 100 cigarettes. If it were true that someone who smokes a hookah once a day (a very common pattern in some parts of the world) faces the same risks as a five-pack-a-day cigarette smoker (which seems to be the intended implication), wouldn't that association have shown up clearly in epidemiological research by now?

The same 2005 WHO report (PDF) that the Times cites to support the 100-cigarette claim puts a very different spin on the nicotine content of hookah smoke. While the Times says "the water in hookahs filters out less than 5 percent of the nicotine," implying that less nicotine is desirable, the WHO report suggests that reducing the nicotine content might increase health hazards, leading people to inhale more smoke for the same dose of the drug. The study Chaouachi  mentions, however, indicates that water filtration absorbs a much larger percentage of "tar" than nicotine, which suggests a net reduction in risk.

While Chaouachi criticizes the WHO report for exaggerating what is known about the health hazards of hookah smoking, the wording of its conclusions suggests how skimpy the evidence is (emphasis added):

A waterpipe smoking session may expose the smoker to more smoke over a longer period of time than occurs when smoking a cigarette [or it may not]...

Waterpipe smoking has not been studied as extensively as cigarette smoking; however, preliminary research on patterns of smoking, the chemistry of the smoke that is inhaled, and health effects supports the idea that waterpipe smoking is associated with many [but not all?] of the same risks [same magnitude or same type?] as cigarette smoking and may, in fact, involve some unique health risks [or may not]....

Using a waterpipe to smoke tobacco poses a serious potential health hazard to smokers...

Using a waterpipe to smoke tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking [but is it safer?]....

A typical [for whom?] 1-hour waterpipe smoking session involves inhaling 100-200 times the volume of smoke inhaled with a single cigarette [but how do the doses of toxins and carcinogens compare?]....

Even after it has passed through water, the smoke produced by a waterpipe contains high levels of toxic compounds [compared to what?]....

There is surprisingly little research addressing tobacco smoking using a waterpipe.

And so on. My point is not that hookah smoking is substantially safer than cigarette smoking (although it might be) or that Kevin Shapiro, the college student presented by the Times as a poster boy for ignorance of the subject, is right in thinking that the risk posed by an occasional hookah session is negligible (although he probably is). My point is that we don't know enough to make confident statements about the hazards of hookah smoking, beyond observing that inhaling smoke containing significant levels of toxins and carcinogens probably isn't good for your health. It should be OK for a newspaper reporter, a scientist, or a public health official to acknowledge this uncertainty, instead of reinforcing the mindless orthodoxy that insists all tobacco products are equally dangerous, no matter what the evidence shows.

In the case of smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, this all-or-nothing approach does people a real disservice, dissuading smokers from adopting alternatives that would dramatically decrease their health risks and maybe save their lives. As a method of harm reduction, hookahs do not look nearly as promising. But in all of these cases, using misdirection and hyperbole to scare people away from politically incorrect choices is dishonest, insulting, and unethical.

More on hookah bans here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Ohhhhhh..... I thought this was a story about yucky bong water.

  • Trespassers W||

    This will come as no surprise, but I'm suddenly in the mood to go hookah-shopping.

  • Jim||

    Or...and I'm just spitballing here, going out on a shouldn't matter at all whether hookahs are more or less dangerous than cigs, as long as no one is forcing anyone else to smoke them.

  • West Texas||

    More or less.

  • Jeffersonian||

    My thought exactly...Sullum's playing a fool's game here.

  • Zeb||

    But what should matter is that people are allowed to get accurate information about the relative risks of various things. The problem, as I see it, is that the anti-smoking people want to use government power to prevent people from knowing that some tobacco products are more dangerous than others.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Use a hookah, go on the no-fly list. Simple as that.

  • aaron||

    So this kid told the NYT that his frat bought a hookah to smoke tobacco, and they believed him?

  • SIV||

    College kids are all fags these days. You never would've caught us putting charcoal and molasses into a hookah. I think we put tobacco in one once as an "experiment".

  • Gelidus V||

    Dry herb burns too wastefully in a hookah. If that's what you want, use a straight bong or a bubbler. Plus it's hard to get rid of that true smoke smell.

    However, if you sprinkle your herb of choice throughout the shisha, it will largely work like a vaporizer when you apply the charcoals.

  • SIV||

    We usually used the hookah for large chunks of Lebanese blond.

  • Au H20||

    True stoners smoke bongs. Although, if you can find a nice multi-chambered bubbler- jump on that.

    But Hookahs are only for rich kids who want to burn through half their shit. Always bugged me when my buddies would want to "enhance" their hookah with my stuff, and then go, "But man, we'll let you smoke our hookah for free." Yeah, there's something called a black market mark-up, jackass.

  • ||

    Multi-chambered bongs, in my opinion, actually cool the smoke so much that you don't "feel" your hit, leading to a less satisfying experience.

    However, my experience was with a six-chambered bong that we filled with snow; maybe a 2-3 chambered one would find a happy middle ground.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Six?? Holy shit, I'd be hyperventilating by time I got the first whiff of smoke.

  • ||

    You don't know anything about Hookahs. They aren't a good "bong" substitute. They are very specialized, and only good for tobacco that is made for them. I know you are joking around, but just to set the record straight.

  • SIV||

    Kids today.

    A hookah may not have been efficient but we thought it was cool. They used to sell them in catalog jewelry and luggage stores, as well as head shops. We never had shisha. I think the tobacco "experiment" was Borkum Riff with about a 3 gram chunk of pressed Jamaican weed( sinse was a seasonal thing as it was grown outdoors).

  • Mr Whipple||

    Right. And bongs are not a good crack pipe substitute.

  • Ted S.||

  • -||

    If the water has little or no effect as a filter, I dare the prohibitionists to drink it.

  • omg||

    Can someone tell me why cigarettes are so popular? There seems to be much cheaper ways to get a nicotine fix, what with the massive taxes many states seem to put on cigarettes.

    Why don't people smoke out of a pipe, for instance? Buying the tobacco bulk should be super cheap, right?

  • Jim||

    I actually quit cigs to smoke a pipe, but there are a couple of points.

    Usually one doesn't inhale pipe smoke (except on accident), so there's not a nicotine fix. It does help with the feeling that you need to be smoking / doing something with your hands, which is as much a part of quitting cigs as the nicotine is.

    The weed is much cheaper in bulk, but cigs are more convenient. They're pre-packaged and ready to go. When I take my pipe places, instead of just whipping a cig out and lighting up, I have to carry the pipe, and a pouch of tobacco (and sometimes a small tool for cleaning out the bowl after a smoke). I have to tamp the tobacco in, and lighting it is more difficult. And, if you have to put it out, you've "wasted" more than if you just have to chuck a cig in the trash. Also, it's harder to keep a pipe going than a cig, so you have to re-light sometimes.

  • Xenocles||

    Not inhaling will cut down on nicotine absorption, but there has to be some passed through the membranes in the mouth. Otherwise chewing tobacco wouldn't work; you'd leech out all the drug with saliva and spit it out uselessly.
    I never smoked cigs, but I assume the facial tingle I get with cigars sometimes has something to do with the nicotine. But I could be wrong.

  • Jim||

    Oh I'm sure you're right, I just don't think it's nearly as much as when 1) the smoke is taken into the lungs, or 2) the tobacco is pressed against the gum tissue for 10+ minutes at a time.

    It's basically smoke in the mouth, smoke blown out a few seconds later. There must be some nicotine getting in, just not as much (in my experience at least).

  • Bill||

    ... that facial tingle I get with cigars ...

    I think that's called a stroke!

  • ||

    I've never understood why places that allow cigarette smoking forbid pipe smoking. What person with functioning olfactory receptors would rather smell a cigarette than a pipe?

  • Jim||

    Seriously. My friend and I actually drew compliments for the smell at last years Oktoberfest. Some people walking by commented on how pleasant it was, and some hot chicks asked to take their pics with us because we had pipes and that was "cool".

    I also had a kilt on with nothing underneath it. Thankfully the sporran hid what was happening beneath the surface.

  • Ted S.||

    Thankfully the sporran hid what was happening [nothing --ed.] beneath the surface.

  • Jim||

    My shameful secret is revealed.

  • R||

    You could always make your own cigarettes, like my dad. He buys tobacco by the pound, buys pre-rolled paper and then uses a machine to stuff the tobacco into the paper. It takes about five seconds to make a single cigarette. You can churn out almost a carton's worth in 15-30 minutes.

  • FlyoverCountry||

    This is what I used to when I was bartending - buy the pre-rolled paper with filters and some mentholated tobacco and I felt like I was Nat Turner, cranking out some hint o'mints.

    Good way to pass the time when watching TV in the evening

  • ||

    I can assure you from years of cigar smoking that you can take in all the nicotine you can stand without inhaling. Maybe pipe tobacco isn't as strong, or the smoke as dense.

    I tried pipes, because I really liked the idea of a pipe, but cigars are my thang.

  • Spartacus||

    My sophomore year of college (1980) I decided I wanted to try a pipe, so I went down to the local tobacco shop. I went through the display, chose a suitable pipe, then picked out a nice pouch of tobacco. The guy in the store was very helpful and had some good recommendations.

    So, I get to the checkout counter with my stuff, and I go "so, I guess I just need screens. where are they?" The guy at the store suddenly turns real frowny, scowls at me, and goes "Tobacco pipes don't have screens." I just laughed and said OK and paid for my stuff and got out of there.

    My tobacco habit lasted about two months, then I went back to weed.

  • ||

    I've been told it's because cigarette companies are just eviller than pipe companies.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Can someone tell me why cigarettes are so popular?

    Marketing. When I grow up, I wanna be just like the Marlboro Man. He's cooooooool!

  • jtuf||

    At this year's NYC Marijuana March, the police arrested a few marchers for smoking marijuana. The march ended with a rally at a public square. A few of the demonstrators smoked tobacco cigarettes while we listened to speeches. Next year, the police will be going after those tobacco smokers too. Maybe it is time to start hosting annual Tobacco Marches.

  • Amakudari||

    In California, Connecticut and Oregon, state lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban or limit hookah bars, and similar steps have been taken in cities in California and New York. Boston and Maine have already ended exemptions in their indoor-smoking laws that had allowed hookah bars to thrive.

    As much as I hate these Team Purple moments, did we leave anyone out on the Official List of Blue State Puritans?

    And what a pernicious little article. The only cites are to tobacco regulators and NYT topics pages. You get quotes like this:

    But researchers say the notion that water filters all the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke is a myth. [neither does a brick wall]

    That study also found that the water in hookahs filters out less than 5 percent of the nicotine. [nicotine isn't even bad for you; most hookah smokers are casual]

    linked with the spread of tuberculosis, herpes and other infections. [so is breathing]

    Reason went overboard with the Four Loko stuff, but there is no shortage of things that terrible individuals like Coakley want to ban, and it's depressing how much effort must be expended defending silly, slightly unhealthy activities lest they move on to bigger sins.

  • ||

    Reason went overboard with the Four Loko stuff? I thought the people who banned it went overboard.

  • Amakudari||

    These are not mutually exclusive. I think the post makes it clear how I feel about banning the drink.

  • FlyoverCountry||

    The worst part of the Four Loko ban was that it put this poor guy out of work...

  • MJ||

    "Researchers say the notion that water filters all the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke is a myth."

    Anyone who believes that it filters all the harmfuls chemicals is too gullible to live. The only way to do that is if it removed all the smoke, and what's the point of that?

    That being said, anyone who wants to smoke tobacco through a hookah should be able to without the nannies getting their noses out of joint.

  • ||

    Note the phrasing there. It would be equivalent, and much less circuitous, to write "researchers say that water does not filter all the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke." The question this phrase seems to be the answer to is "how many chemicals are filtered?" and the answer seems to be some are, some are not.

    However, when you phrase it as the answer to a question about belief -- ie, is the belief that water filters all harmful chemicals a fact or a myth -- the emphasis falls on "which side are you on, the researchers or this frat boy twerp?"

    The powers that be are much more comfortable dealing with questions of "which side are you on" vs. questions of evaluating the merits of a policy.

  • ||

    They smoke tobacco in hookahs? These crazy kids these daze!

  • Robert||

    I laughed when I read the report that said they get 100X the volume of smoke (which is mostly air).

    The neat straddle whereby both lowering and raising nicotine is bad reminds me of the straddle whereby drugs are bad because they make people behave badly and also because you can't detect any difference in behavior.

  • Mackey||

    Drugs are bad. You shouldn't do drugs. If you do them, you're bad, mmmkay?

  • Caterpillar||

    I love mine.

  • Xenocles||

    Like many other [states] who are embracing [seat belt laws] nationwide, [people] believe that [driving with a seat belt on] is less dangerous than [driving without it] because it "[reduces the risk of injury in a crash]."


    But in fact, [driving a car is] far from safe.

  • violent_k||

    That's just fucking beautiful, man.

  • Xenocles||

    I actually* minored in journalism.

    *Not actually

  • ||

    At least the New York Times is consistent in its editorial belief that it is your body, your choice. Except when it comes to everything other than abortion. Then it is your body, the state's choice. Hypocrisy is a nice lubricant for extreme cognitive dissonance.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'm having a uterus sewn into my abdomen next week, just so I can have an organ that I can call my own.

  • ||

    so, by the NYT's logic, it should only be legal to inject drugs... if you do it straight into your uterus?

  • Jeffersonian||

    +1 I come here for deep thinking like that.

  • ||

    I would not be surprised in the slightest if the dullards writing for the New York Times objected to over-the-counter home wart removal systems (something that tricky really needs a state-licensed provider) but as long as your medical needs involve killing an unborn baby the government better stay the hell out of the way. But when it comes to any and all other medical procedures the government must function as gatekeeper and monopsonist extraordinaire.

  • ||

    Gynecologists say that the notion that amniotic fluid filters out all harmful chemicals from tobacco smoke is a myth.

  • Jim||


  • SIV||

    Just ask for the cigarettes that cause heart disease. Don't get the ones that cause low fetal birth weight. They're labeled right on the package.

  • Zeb||

    And if you are male, go for the low birth weight.

  • chaussures nike shox||


  • Gerholdt||

    The anti-tobacco campaign of the Nazis: a little known aspect of public health in Germany, 1933-45 -- Proctor 313 (7070): 1450 -- British Medical Journal

  • Trespassers W||

    You know who was in charge of the Nazis?

  • ||

    Rob Reiner?

  • Xenocles||

    No no no, you're supposed to say "You know who else used state organs to campaign against smoking?" This allows the group to offer gag responses and then you can drop your citation on us.

  • ||

    Seriously, Geholdt. Tow the lion, dude.

  • Trespassers W||

    Guys, please thread your comments, you made me look like a dang fool here.

  • Brian E||

    You know who else looked like a dang fool?

  • rather|| made me look like a dang fool here

    +, thread your comments so I can distinguish one fool from another

  • Xenocles||

    Thanks for doing your part.

  • .||

    YouTube doesn't have threaded comments. That's why H&R is better.

  • rather||

    at your service, Sir ;-)

  • ||

    In the case of smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, this all-or-nothing approach does people a real disservice, dissuading smokers from adopting alternatives that would dramatically decrease their health risks and maybe save their lives.

    Since the pop-left's (and yes, the pop-right's too) arguments always rely on visceral reaction to something rather than a careful consideration of the issues at hand, it makes sense that they don't want to confuse people by allowing it to seem that in some cases, members of the concept cloud containing nicotine/tobacco/smoking/cigarettes are not harmful.

  • ||

    To put it more clearly, if you start admitting that things associated with nicotine and cigarettes are not harmful, you blunt the visceral reaction against those things that is needed to make people support smoking bans/cigarette taxes/etc.

  • ||

    many jurisdictions that have various types of smoking bans SUPPOSEDLY because of the dangers of secondhand smoke are now proposing banning e-cigs in the same places.

    which just shows you they are full of shit.

    fwiw, i know a few bodybuilders who use nicotine patches to help hunger pangs when they are cutting weight. it's an effective drug.

  • Brian E||

    Has anyone correlated the decrease in per capita nicotine consumption with obesity rates?

    Shockingly (or not) there seems to be very little data available on the health risks of nicotine replacement therapies (patches, gum and e-cigarettes). One wonders if nicotine by itself really is dangerous. If it was, the nannies would want everyone to know, wouldn't they?

  • Brian E||

    Aha: "a 10% increase in cigarette taxes is significantly correlated with a 4-5% increase in the percentage of obese population." Unintended consequence much?

    If e-cigarettes actually improved health outcomes and lowered costs on the average, would the nannies' little heads all explode in unison?

  • ||

    That's actually a pretty huge correlation considering cigarette consumption is supposed to be pretty inelastic. It would be interesting to see how much the consumption was reduced by the 10% tax increase.

  • ||

    iirc, studies show that in the aggregate, smoking saves society money (it's highly taxed and they tend to die young ), obesity the opposite

    govt. should thus give out free cigarettes

  • Robert||

    This is what I call dragging the pivot foot: using one justif'n for a law, then pretending a side effect of that law was the justif'n. It's like when they tried to criminalize virtual child porn. They're "closing a loophole". Others call it bootstrapping.

  • Mensan||

    Nicotine has actually been shown to increase metabolic activity. I don't feel like looking for the citation, but I know I've read that in at least one scientific journal article, and in a text book I had for an advanced nutrition and human metabolism class.

  • ||

    Like the vegan approach, milk is a rape secretion filled with pus and blood, meat rots in the gut and causes cancer, etc.

    Condoning the hookah is like a vegan condoning cheese consumption.

  • Mensan||

    One of the most amusing encounters I ever had with a vegan:

    Me: Why are you a vegan?

    Vegan: Eating living things is murder. I don't want to be a murderer, so I don't eat anything that is living.

    Me: Neither do I. Those cows and chickens are all dead before I eat them.

    Vegan: No, I mean I don't eat anything that was ever alive.

    Me: So, why aren't you green then?

    Vegan: What's that supposed to mean?

    Me: It's just that most phototrophs are green; from the chlorophyll.

    Vegan: I don't know what you're talking about.

    Me: I'm not surprised.

  • Paul||

    Yesterday The New York Times marked World No Tobacco Day with a front-page story that illustrates the pervasive evasiveness of the anti-smoking

    Didn't we just get an article about some group of ex-something-or-others petitioning the UN to take the criminality out of drugs and instead make it a 'public health issue'? From where I stand, it's a increasingly becoming distinction without a difference.

  • ||

    We did and it is.

  • ||

    "An additional hazard: the tobacco in hookahs is heated with charcoal"

    I have never in my life witnessed someone trying to use charcoal to light tobacco in a hookah. And the "equivalent to 100 cigarettes" is one huge fucking lie.

  • rather||

    Then you haven't lived in the South, baby

    They BBQ all kinds of shit

  • BigBob||

    I always used a charcoal disk on top of perforated tin foil, which vaporized, rather than burned, the tobacco.

  • ||

    Most of my hookah experience was on the west coast and involved no charcoal. I never tried smoking that way and probably never will.

  • Zeb||

    Using charcoal is the traditional way to smoke tobacco through a hookah. It is not really possible to light the sticky, sugary tobacco with a flame.

  • Mensan||

    I've never seen anybody use anything other than charcoal on a hookah. And I was introduced to it by an old roommate who grew up in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, so I'm pretty sure he did it the traditional way.

  • Mensan||

    Also, he insisted that hookah is an American word, and that in the middle east they also refer to the pipe as a sheesha.

  • ||

    I like using crushed ice and water in a bong. It cools the air down real fast, offering a less irritating hit.

  • Kant feel Pietzsche||

    Fuck that. Mr. Vapor does a body good.

  • rather||

    am I the only person who reads H&R who doesn't drink and do drugs? Lol

  • ||

    Yes, rather and it shows. And BTW, I am the only one on here who ever says anything nice about you or defends you. Yet, on blog I am no where to be found. You list only the haters. You are like an abused spouse on here. Typical woman.

  • rather||

    I can't tell you how many people who send me emails regularly from this blog
    -don't kid yourself.

    I remember telling one of them that I liked your individuality from the start.

    Hmm, I only play a bitch on TV

  • ||

    The only person from this blog I have ever emailed was the infamous Joe P. Boyle. He once accused me of lying about my military service. I emailed him from my work account. The asshole still didn't believe me. He said he ran some check and it was a faked account. No kidding.

  • rather||

    LOl, I won't name names but I can tell you it would be more interesting than Weiner's.

  • ||

    You should have asked him to prove he was really a high-demand city planner and not some kid in mama's basement.

  • ||

    The wild sex parties make up for it.

  • ||

    I went to Egypt once and went to a hookah bar. You could not find a more chill place. Totally different experience than a crowded American bar where they serve alcohol. People sitting quietly enjoying themselves, clearly something that needs to be banned for the children's sake. Assholes.

  • Amakudari||

    This spam filter is killing me. Also, just to add on to the tuberculosis and herpes bits, one-third of the world has tuberculosis and eighty percent of adults have oral herpes (cold sores)

    So hookah use is associated with common, mostly asymptomatic diseases. Could this be any more Reefer Madness?

    Cites later.

  • Amakudari||

  • Amakudari||

    Oral herpes/cold sores (redirects to Wikipedia but Reason's blocking direct links)

    Thanks Reason for your god-awful filtering system that thinks I'm trying to sell people herpes via Wikipedia.

  • .||

    Remember, it's a "third-party" filtering system. is not culpable. They can't help it. It's not their fault!

  • guy in the back row||

    I love the disconnect with p[eople who believe some of the government's announcements with metaphysical certitude (eg 2nd hand smoke), yet other government announcements with disbelief and disdain (WMDs in Iraq).

    Isn't all the bullshit coming from the same barn?

  • ||

    Wo those guys seem to know what the deal is. Wow.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties