Two new studies confirm the serious unhealthy effects caused by water pipe smoking (WPS), including reduced lung function and other cardiorespiratory conditions. In one study, researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo found that, compared with people who do not smoke, water pipe smoking was associated with a significant reduction in lung function, equivalent to cigarette smoking.

In a second study, Israeli researchers found that during a single 30-minute smoking session, water pipe smoking was associated with an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as decreased lung function. Researchers conclude that WPS is as harmful as cigarette smoking and that public interventions are needed in order to raise awareness about the harmful effects of water pipe smoking. The articles are published in the April issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: Chest 2011;139(4):764-774; and Chest 2011;139(4):775-781 [Courtesy of EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS].