Many in Uttar Pradesh's Khushaal Nagar village fight the bitter cold with the hookah, oblivious to its deadly effects.
The villagers believe that it helps them overcome certain health related problems and also to beat the intense cold as they lament that the state government has been unable to provide them with adequate facilities to fight against the cold.
"In villages, we do not have any work, so we poor people burn wood and smoke Hookah. The city has a lot of advantage because of the business; we don't get any facilities from the Government. The villagers are dying because of cold. Thus we somehow survive by burning wood and smoking Hookah," said Saraswati Devi, a villager
Most women in the villages have a strong belief that combination of water and tobacco relieves them from all kinds of stomach ailments. But the doctors differ completely advising that any kind of drug addiction is extremely hazardous, Hookah being no exception.
"Any kind of drug, which becomes an addiction, is injurious to health. Whether they have it in lesser quantity, or more, it affects their health, lungs, leads to headache and also liver... The body resists only till the time these parts are able to bear it. Initially they don't realise it but once these parts get affected, it can also lead to Tuberculosis," said U.S. Tiwari, Senior Consultant, BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur.
Hookah works by burning flavored tobacco on hot coals and enables users to suck the it an ornate water vessel positioned underneath. While smoking the sweet scented tobacco, a small amount of nicotine is also inhaled that leads to its craving.