Carboxyhaemoglobin levels in water-pipe and cigarette smokers
Aim. We aimed to measure carboxyhaemoglogin (COHb) blood levels before and after water-pipe and cigarette smoking sessions.
Method. Self-confessed smokers older than 18 years (N=30) volunteered to smoke a water-pipe or a cigarette and have their blood COHb levels measured under controlled conditions.
Results. Mean baseline COHb levels were 2.9% for the 15 cigarette smokers and 1.0% for the 15 water-pipe smokers. Levels increased by a mean of 481.7% in water-pipe smokers as opposed to 39.9% in cigarette smokers.
Conclusion. The study demonstrated that water-pipe smokers had significantly higher increases in blood COHb levels than cigarette smokers during a single smoking session.
James A Ker, University of Pretoria
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Date published: 2010-01-29
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