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Tobacco-free Hookah and Birth Control Pill

By August 4, 2010 - 12:03am
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Hi there. I enjoyed smoking flavored tobacco when I was younger, but now I am on Yasmin ("the pill").

I am wondering if smoking a tobacco-free product would pose the same threats as smoking tobacco itself? Or, what if I only tried this while on the week of sugar-pills? I was a very light smoker, one or two nights a month.

Thank you for your wonderful service, what an amazing community here :)

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Hello Sunev

I think the answer to your question relies partly on just what you would be smoking. Generally speaking, though, you would still be setting something on fire and pulling smoke into your lungs, along with whatever substance you are smoking and the toxins it creates when it is burned. I would say no substance is without risk if you smoke it.

It doesn't matter what week you do the smoking, because the effects of the smoking last in your body longer than the act of smoking does. Smoking affects your cardiovascular system in many ways, as well as your spine, your lungs, and other systems. You seem to be aware that smoking on birth control raises your risk of blood clots substantially.

I looked for specific information related to your question, and found a couple of things but again, without knowing what substance you will be smoking it is hard to be specific: http://www.empowher.com/cancer/content/are-hookahs-safe?page=0,1, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hookah/AN01265.

My recommendation would be to avoid smoking while you are on birth control. Working on the neuroscience unit, I saw more than one very young women with a blood clot from that combination, including stroke patients. In my opinion, it isn't worth the risk.

Thank you for asking this interesting question, and if you want to discuss further or more specifically, please let us know.

August 4, 2010 - 7:06am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

you're from the medical profession, do you really think taking birth control pills is my best option? Are the risks very high? I am 17, and a non smoker.

December 9, 2014 - 6:30pm
(reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

Cary, thank you so much. I was a little in the dark about this topic and your answers are making my path much clearer.

The substance we thought might be an alternative is this:

"100% tobacco, nicotine and tar free herbal molasses blended with flavours. The ingredients are simple; sugar cane, sugar cane bagasse, and molasses, which are a sugar by-product, chiefly the uncrystallizable sugars"; the product is referred to as "herbal shisha".

Would such a product still contribute to the risk of strokes or clots?


August 4, 2010 - 8:31am
(reply to sunev)

Sunev, I honestly don't know the answer to your question. I've been searching tonight and I am finding conflicting information. Smoking anything is not healthy, even inhaling smoke from burning leaves or trees irritates your lungs. But I don't know specifically whether this product would increase your risk of clots.

I am very curious now, though. So I am going to keep looking and if I find an answer, I will get back to you. Thanks again for writing.

August 4, 2010 - 6:33pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

Yes, that has been my experience when trying to find information on this topic online as well. Frustrating! But thank you for your efforts.


August 4, 2010 - 10:52pm
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