Harmful effects of shisha: literature review

Int Arch Med. 2014 Apr 4;7:16. doi: 10.1186/1755-7682-7-16. eCollection 2014.


Tobacco is a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality across the world. A recently infamous way of smoking tobacco is shisha. Shisha smoking is also known as water pipe, hookah and Narghile smoking. The percentage of shisha smokers is on the rise rapidly spanning the globe. A literature review was conducted to identify all evidence on the epidemiological variations and health effects of shisha smoking. "Pub med" is used as a searching tool to identify all relevant empirical studies conducted worldwide. A qualitative overview of evidence is presented. Exposure to Shisha smoking is significantly associated with low infant weight, heart rate variations, hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia. Increased risk of carcinoma is also leagued with it including carcinomas of the pancreas and lung being at the forefront. In conclusion, this review identifies grounds of several adverse conditions being associated with the habit of shisha smoking. It also evaluates the relevant epidemiological variations around the globe. The review culminates in the importance of enlightening shisha smokers regarding its deleterious effects.

Publication types

  • Review