The effects of sheesha or cigarette smoking on pulmonary function values were examined in 441 and 154 male and female smokers respectively. Cigarette smokers showed a marked decline in pulmonary function values with increasing age that was more pronounced than in non-smokers. VC, FEV1 and FVC mean values of male sheesha smokers were significantly lower than those of corresponding non-smokers with all pulmonary function measurements demonstrating a decline with age in sheesha smokers, particularly in the age group 20-49. The extent of the decline in pulmonary function measurements in young and middle aged female sheesha smokers (20-45 years) was not as pronounced as that of older female smokers. It is concluded that sheesha smoking as well as cigarette smoking, will produce similar harmful effects on the function of ventilatory capacity of both male and female subjects and increase the risk of developing obstructive airway disease, with sheesha smokers being at a greater risk.