Congress logo
Back to Conference page

The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Friday, July 14, 2006 - 4:10 PM

Characterizing narghile waterpipe toxicants and puff topography

Alan L. Shihadeh, ScD, Aerosol Research Lab, Mechanical Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, PO Box 11-0237 Riad El Solh, Beirut, Lebanon

Objective: Studies on the chemical composition, toxicity, and carcinogenicity of cigarette smoke generated using a smoking machine are widely used to predict and understand health effects of smoking. They complement in-vivo and epidemiological studies of smoking and have contributed significantly to a better understanding of cigarette smoke toxicity and carcinogenicity and to generating the evidence needed for anti-tobacco policies and action. Fewer than ten studies are available in the open literature that address the chemistry of narghile smoke, and a comparatively small range of chemical compounds have been investigated. For the past 5 years the Aerosol Research Lab at the American University of Beirut has been developing methods for measuring mainstream smoke toxicants and smoker topography, and has deployed these to quantify a limited range of smoke constituents.

Methods: A digital control waterpipe smoking machine and topography unit were developed. The topography unit was deployed in a pilot study of 52 smokers in a neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon, and the results of the measurements were used to program the smoking machine. The resulting smoke was analyzed for “tar”, nicotine, CO, PAH, and heavy metals for a single popular type of flavored tobacco.

Results: yields of “tar”, CO, PAH, and heavy metals from a single typical one-hour use session exceeded by one or more orders of magnitude those of a single cigarette. Nicotine yield was comparable to a single cigarette. These first glimpses indicate that contrary to popular perceptions, narghile waterpipe smoke likely delivers high quantities of toxicants to the smoker.

Web Page: