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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


hookah  listen  (HOOK-uh)

  A device used to smoke a special type of tobacco that comes in different flavors. In a hookah, charcoal is used to heat the tobacco. The smoke from the heated tobacco is cooled by passing it through a water-filled bowl. It is then inhaled through a flexible tube with a mouthpiece. Hookah tobacco smoke contains nicotine and many cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Hookah smoking can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause many of the same health problems as cigarette smoking. Hookah smoking is not safer than cigarette smoking. Also called water pipe.