Local News

Jul 9, 2014 7:24 AM by Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahKRIS

More Teens Hooked On Hookah

CORPUS CHRISTI - After decades of ads about the dangers of smoking, fewer teenagers are lighting up. However, there is a new that doctors claim may be more dangerous than cigarettes.

A new study shows that one in every five high school seniors are smoking hookah now.

"It's a relaxing smoke," said Casablanca Hookah Lounge owner Daniel Lopez. "Without all of the smells."

Lopez said he's noticed the increase of teens 18 and up in his place, and he's not surprised.

"It's more social, bottom line," said Lopez. "It's a social environment, and your peers are here."

It's a social draw that may not be worth the health risk. Despite what many people think, the CDC said hookah smoking is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes.

"The research shows that smoking through hookah is as dangerous, if not more dangerous, as cigarette smoking," said Dr. George Benavidez. "Simple as that."

Even after it passes through water, the smoke from a hookah still contains high-levels of cancer causing toxins.

Some experts claim one hour of smoking hookah is like smoking around 100 cigarettes.

"If you value your child's health," said Benavidez. "Not just now, but in the future...This has to stop."

Lopez, however, said he thinks a hookah lounge is a safe environment for teens to hang out.

"I'm being honest, because I have two daughters," said Lopez. "I'd rather them frequent a hookah lounge, than a club."

Doctors warn that tobacco, in any form, is addictive if you use it regularly.

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