Long known for their association with marijuana or other illegal substances, water pipes, or bongs as they are commonly known, have often been avoided for this very reason. There have also been many negative articles posted in the last few years regarding the use of water pipes as a conduit for tobacco smoking. However, some of these long publicised disadvantages might be countered to an extent with the moderated use and good hygiene of your product. During the course of this article, I will be discussing some of these counter measures. However, some positive attributes remain prevalent.
For example, the filtering effect water pipes have on tobacco and other legal substances make them somewhat healthier than you might first think. Suitability for newer smokers too. Here are just a few advantageous facts about smoking with a water pipe:
Newcomer friendly: A water pipe is a somewhat easier way for newcomers to try smoking. The bubbles the pipe produces during inhalation make the smoke smoother on the throat than the average cigarette or cigar. Taking shallower breaths for much shorter time periods can help a newcomer ease into the experience of smoking for the first time.
A Smoother smoke: To elaborate on the above, the main reason why many smokers might opt for a water pipe is purely because they won’t irritate the smoker’s throat like cigarettes, roll up tobacco or cigars can. Warm water kills off any bacteria in the smoke, offering a cleaner inhalation while cool water will subsequently cool it. This can reduce exposure to common smoking-related conditions such as bronchitis when used in moderation.
Using a glass water pipe: Using a glass water pipe, as opposed to a home made plastic or aluminium one can help reduce the additional chemicals water pipes are often criticised for exposing consumers to.
Always clean your water pipe after use: re-using dirty water or cleaning solution might be eco-friendly but it certainly isn’t healthy. In fact, neglecting to clean your water pipe actually cancels out its filtering effect, so make sure that you clean your pipe thoroughly and regularly.
Suitable for casual use: Water pipes actually filter out a number of carcinogens per inhalation, lowering the smoker’s chance of vulnerability to illnesses such as lung cancer. However, it does also drive the smoke deeper and faster into the lungs. So while the toxins inhaled in a single hit of tobacco from a water pipe might be less than those of a cigarette, caution is advised. Like all legal highs, such as alcohol, you should always use tobacco and your water pipe in moderation to avoid cancelling out these health benefits with overuse.
Remember, when using a water pipe there are two things above all that should be considered: using a pipe is a personal preference and one, if regulated and properly used, has health benefits other methods don‘t have that can be taken advantage of. Water pipes are a cheaper, more aesthetically friendly and accessible alternative to smoking. As a smoker, you invariably run the risk of negative health effects - take responsibility for your usage and, with the proper care and maintenance of your pipe, why not make it a safer alternative?