When Gomez (John Astin) and Morticia (Caroline Jones) Addams settled in for a shared hookah session in the 1965 "The Addams Family Meets the Undercover Man" episode of their TV show, it seemed exotic and daring.
Fifty-five years later, hookah/waterpipe smoking has become all too common. One 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal found that half of younger Americans ages 18 to 30 got their tobacco smoke through hookahs.
But that's no way to dodge the dangers of smoking.
For the first time, a study has evaluated the relative risks of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer from smoking tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and hookahs. The findings took our breath away.
The research, published in the European Heart Journal, found that compared with nonsmokers, tobacco cigarettes increased the risk of COPD by 704%, waterpipes by 218%, and e-cigarettes by 194%.
When it came to lung cancer, tobacco cigarettes blew up the risk by an astounding 1,210% and waterpipes increased the risk of lung cancer by 122%.
Then there's the finding, published recently in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, that if you get COVID-19 and are a smoker, it nearly doubles your risk of progression to serious complications.
Clearly, there's no way to get around the dangers of smoking tobacco.
But you can successfully quit. There are a multitude of resources online, including through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Mike’s Cleveland Clinic. Check them out today and breathe easier for a lifetime.