Patrons of the burgeoning number of hookah lounges argue that, although certainly  not good for you, smoking tobacco that is drawn through water is healthier than smoking cigarettes, contending that the water removes some of  chemicals.

Not so, assert experts. They point out that the hookah may filter out some of the irritants, but the smoke contains dangerous levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide , and other toxic chemicals.

The growing popularity of hookah lounges is disappointing, states a spokesperson from the American Lung Association(ALA) , because the use of cigarettes has declined significantly over the past 40 years. So concerned is the ALA that it, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, has issued advisories on the dangers of hookah smoking. The advisory warns that all major diseases associated with cigarette smoking are also associated with hookah smoking.