Health differences between cigarettes and water-pipes

Health-wise, what is the difference between smoking a cigarette and smoking a water-pipe (also known as narghileh, hookah, hubbly-bubbly, shishah)?

WRS

Like second hand smoke!
Still SMOKE.
Still carcinogenic.

I would imagine the negligible difference is less particulate matter.

BUt shisha tastes soooooo good. So, pretend it’s better for you. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

looks up at The Straight Dope banner
:frowning: Fine.

But with hookahs there is no tar or other additives. Would it also be less addictive (as it is said that tobacco companies add stuff to cigarettes to make them more addictive)?

Whether they’re carcinogenic or whatnot is besides the point: how do they differ from cigarettes?

WRS

devilsknew!! You’re online! :slight_smile:

[/hijack]

Shisha not only has no tar and no additives, it only has 0.5% nicotine. I’ve seen the process they use to make it – they actually drain out as much of the nicotine as possible. It would be less addictive, not only because there are no additives, but also because there is less nicotine. The smoke is healthier for you, but it’s still smoke, and still carcinogenic. All in all the lesser evil, healthwise.