The hookah article (Dec. 6) had little real information and was extremely misleading. The majority of Shisha (tobacco) used in hookah is imported from the Middle East. Their countries of origine often require tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide content to be listed on the package.

You’ll find that there’s almost no need: “shisha tobacco has no added nicotine and a zero percent tar content,” as quoted from an article from the Johns Hopkins University’s newspaper.

Figures of .001 milligrams of nicotine and . 002 milligrams of tar are about as much as you’ll get from shisha. Compared to cigarettes, the content is miniscule: Gauloises cigarettes have .7 milligrams of nicotine and 12 milligrams of tar. Benson & Hedges have 15mg of tar and 1.4 milligrams of nicotine. Camel, Pall Mall, and Dunhill brands boast equivalent numbers. There are even tobacco/nicotine/tar-free molassas-based shishas on the market now.

Oh, and carbon dioxide is what you exhale anyway – of course if you hold your breath, you’ll get lightheaded even without tobacco!

Carbon MONOXIDE is the carinogen present in large amounts in cigarettes, and is nearly absent from shisha. Interesting how Wheaton (a history major) was asked a question appropriate for an organic chemistry major.

What we have been presented in the hookah article was misinformation and propaganda. As a student of an American university, I am ashamed at the blatent disregaurd for the facts and value of free and accurate information. This issue has obviously been contrived as an inflated public health problem, when it is in fact it a private cultural consideration. That article belonged in the opinion section, not the front page. Where has journalistic integrity gone?

Christopher Dean Sahms
Philosophy freshman

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