First in a series by Noura Andrea Nassar titled “26 Ways Living in Lebanon Can Kill You”
Noura is a good friend, and I am a huge fan of her work. Her witty doodles always pack a good punch. You can find some she’s done for the blog here. Over the past few weeks though, her new series titled “26 Ways Living in Lebanon Can Kill You” has been especially good. Good enough for each to warrant a blog post in my honest opinion, so, today we’re starting with the letter “A” for Arguileh.
Law 174 banning smoking in indoor public spaces in Lebanon has all but died. Every venue has magically become classified as “outdoor” for some reason, despite having the stuff that usually characterize a place as “indoor”, you know, like a roof and walls and stuff. The only aspect of the law that is actually working, is that tobacco ads and sponsorships have completely stopped (meaning the money the tobacco companies used to pump into the market is gone, but their harmful effect is still ever-present almost everywhere).
Here’s an excerpt from a post on Arguileh smoking I wrote earlier this year:
1- 1 Hour Arguileh = 100-200 Cigarettes Smoke
The volume of smoke you get into your lungs during one hour of arguileh, is equal to the volume to anywhere between a hundred or two hundred cigarettes… So, just in terms of sheer amount and volume, you’re already in deep trouble if you’re smoking arguilehs…
2- 25 Times the Tar and 10 Times the CO
3- Disease Transmission
Most arguileh smokers don’t own one themselves, and just rent it out at cafes or restaurants, or even have them delivered to their homes (a rising fad in Lebanon). This means that dozens, hundreds if not thousands of people will use the same smoking instrument. Usually, we add that little piece of plastic on the tip to be “hygienic” ( yes, I realize how this might come off as a euphemism to condom use). But, the tube itself is rarely, if ever cleaned, making respiratory diseases such as Tuberculosis fairly easily transmittable, and a friend in AUB was diagnosed with TB after a hookah session.
So, if the health hazards aren’t enough, then let your germophobe side convince you to stop.