Shisha ''as bad as ciggies''

Kuala Lumpur, April 27 : Smoking a shisha pipe is as harmful as smoking tobacco, according to a new research.

People who smoke shisha, or herbal tobacco, can suffer from high carbon monoxide levels, the Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre has found, Qatar News Agency (QNA) has reported.

High levels of carbon monoxide can cause brain damage and unconsciousness.

Shisha is a water-pipe in which fruit-scented tobacco is burnt using coal, passed through an ornate water vessel and inhaled through a hose.

The research revealed that one session of smoking shisha resulted in carbon monoxide levels at least four to five times higher than the amount produced by one cigarette.

Dr Hilary Wareing, director of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre, told the BBC''s Asian Network that the results of the research shocked her.

"Our mouths opened at the level of harm - none of the tests we did showed anything other than shisha is hazardous to health,” New Straits Times Online quoted her as saying. (ANI)