It is widely believed that smoking through a water pipe or a bong is a less harmful way of smoking; the notion is that most of the toxins are filtered out this way. According to the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, water pipe bongs have the same respiratory effects as smoking a cigarette.
The medical team at Mashad Univeristy compared the breathing patterns of bong smokers, cigarette smokers and non-smokers. A spirometer was used in the study to measure the amount of air in the lungs of the participants in the study and their symptoms. The results showed that water pipe smokers and deep-inhalation cigarette smokers have similar symptoms.
Wheezing was present in 23% of water pipe smokers, 30% in S-DI, and 21.6% in S-NI. Chest tightness was present in 36.8% of water pipe smokers, 40% in S-DI, and 29.4% in S-NI. Cough was present in 21% of water pipe smokers, 36..7% of S-DI, and 19.6% of S-NI. Wheezing, chest tightness, and cough only occurred in non-smokers 9.1%, 13.3% and 6.8% respectively.
This is the first study analyzing the effects of the methods used to inhale cigarette smoke.
Although bongs are typically used for smoking cannabis, this study is not about the effects of cannabis in comparison to cigarettes. However an analogy can be made that smoking joints may have similar effects to smoking via a bong.
[Image credit: Thomªs]