Is smoking hookah bad for your health?
Most smokers — 70% — say that they want to stop smoking. The average smoker makes several quit attempts before they successfully beat their nicotine addiction. MD Anderson has resources to help youth and adults quit using nicotine products.
Resources for adults who want to quit smoking
Individuals who wish to quit smoking can get free phone and text support through the National Institutes of Health Quitline by calling 1-800-784-8669 or text QUIT to 47848. Visit www.SmokeFree.gov for more information.
Individuals in Texas can get free help quitting all forms of tobacco via phone or a web-based program from the Texas Tobacco Quitline by calling 1-877-YES-QUIT or visiting YESQUIT.org.
Resources for teens and young adults who want to quit smoking or vaping
MD Anderson Cancer Center works with the Truth Initiative to offer This Is Quitting to Texas young people ages 13-18. Youth can text VAPEFREETX to 88709 to receive free, anonymous, 24/7 support through this program.
Parents of young vapers can text QUIT to 202-899-7550 to receive messages designed specifically for them, including tips and advice for helping to support their young person quit.
Residents outside of Texas can visit The Truth Initiative to access This is Quitting in their area.
For patients and MD Anderson employees
The Tobacco Treatment Program offers comprehensive tobacco-cessation services at no cost to MD Anderson patients and employees who are current tobacco users.
Join a research study
You can join a research study to help you quit and remain tobacco-free. Call 1-877-291-3382. Participation is free. We offer flexible appointments to fit your busy schedule.
Prevention & Screening
Lung Screening Calculator
Use this calculator to find out if you are eligible for lung cancer screening. Lung cancer screening can catch cancer early, when it's easiest to treat. Answer the questions below to find out the next steps for you.
E-cigarettes and vaping
E-cigarettes are not proven to be a safe and effective way to help smokers quit. Most e-cigarettes contain addictive nicotine, and they can often lead to more smoking, not less. The best way to quit smoking is with a program that includes a combination of medications, nicotine replacement like patches or gum, and tobacco cessation counseling.
Are e-cigarettes safer than cigarettes or other tobacco products?
E-cigarettes have not been proven as a safe alternative to smoking. The aerosol produced by e-cigarettes has the same harmful toxins found in glue and paint, even if the liquid is labeled as nicotine-free. It is not water vapor. Most e-cigarettes contain addictive nicotine.
Smoking and cancer risk
Smoking is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. About 85% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. In addition to lung cancer, smoking increases your risk for the following cancers:
- Larynx (voice box)
- Pharynx (throat)
- Esophagus (swallowing tube)
- Myeloid leukemia
Frequently Asked Questions
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, lung diseases such as Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. Smoking not only causes diabetes but can make the health issues from diabetes worse. People who smoke have a higher risk of heart and kidney disease, amputation, eye disease, nerve damage and poor circulation. Smoking increases the risk of low birth weight in newborns, has a negative impact on your immune system and can make rheumatoid arthritis worse.
Smokers are more likely to have serious consequences from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
Using e-cigarettes may damage your respiratory system and that damage is likely to increase your risk for COVID-19 complications.
Any amount of tobacco use will have negative health impacts on the body. Stopping tobacco use is the best way to reduce the risk of cancers, stroke and lung diseases.
When it comes to cancer prevention, the damaging effects of smoking can't be reversed by exercise or a healthy diet. There's no such thing as a healthy smoker. Even if you exercise and eat healthy, smoking will increase your risk for chronic diseases, including cancer.
Secondhand smoke is the smoke that is exhaled by a smoker into the air and the smoke that comes from the end of cigarette, pipe, or cigar. Secondhand smoke causes cancer.
Thirdhand smoke is the residue of tobacco smoke, nicotine and other chemicals that land on indoor surfaces and the surfaces inside your car. It remains long after the smoking has stopped. Other people can be exposed to thirdhand smoke by touching contaminated surfaces and by inhaling the toxic gases that are released from these surfaces. It is best to stop smoking, but if you cannot stop smoking, it’s safer for others if you only smoke outdoors, away from other people.
Smoking around children, family members and pets exposes them to the toxins from secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke. The amount of many cancer-causing chemicals is higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers. Even limited exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart disease, trigger a heart attack, increase respiratory illness and trigger asthma attacks in people and cause cancers and heart problems in pets.
There is no safe amount of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke from hookahs exposes non-smokers to toxins from the tobacco as well as from the charcoal. If you occasionally use hookah and cigars, you are at risk for the same health consequences and nicotine addiction of a daily cigarette smoker.
There is no safe amount of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is responsible for more than 41,000 deaths per year in the United States.