A recent study has revealed that nearly one-fifth of college and university students in Pakistan between the ages of 20 to 25 years cannot do without smoking sheesha, which is a type of hookah-smoking with flavored tobacco.
The study estimated the prevalence of sheesha-smoking among such students across the country to be 19.7 percent.
Sheesha is more potent than cigarettes as it contains 40 percent tobacco and 60 percent flavour. It also contains elevated levels of cancer-causing chemicals, carbon monoxide, and nicotine which can cause addiction.
Experts say that sheesha is more dangerous than cigarettes. Nearly 57 percent youngsters begin smoking sheesha at the age of 17 to 18 years and the popular flavors were double apple and mint.
According to doctors, more awareness about sheesha smoking may help curb the growing trend. Youngsters must know that one sheesha smoking session is the equivalent of smoking 100 cigarettes. Nearly 12 percent students felt that sheesha smoking is milder than cigarette smoking and therefore less harmful.