Hookahs just as harmful as cigarettes

SmokingCologne - Water pipes or hookahs are just as dangerous to your health as smoking cigarettes, according to Germany's Federal Centre for Health Education.

Smoke produced by a hookah contains several poisonous substances.

Hookah tobacco is often mixed with sugar or syrup, which when burned, releases substances that are carcinogenic or aggravate the air passages.

The centre has released the information to coincide with its "Smoke Free 2008" campaign.

People who smoke water pipes have a higher risk of developing a heart problem or cancer of the lung, lip, mouth or bladder. (dpa)