Bronx Breathes warns against smoking hookah

A tobacco awareness group is working to inform residents about the dangers of smoking hookah.

A tobacco awareness group is working to inform residents about the dangers of smoking hookah. (5/7/13)

THE BRONX - Bronx Breathes, a tobacco awareness group, is working to inform residents about health risks that come with smoking hookah.

The Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy says in one 45-minute session at a hookah bar, customers will have inhaled the same amount of cancer-causing agents found in 100 cigarettes.

Tosca Café in Throgs Neck offers tobacco-free shisha, an option mandated by New York City law.

"It's made of molasses, and it's made of pure sugar cane,” Tosca Café manager Melissa Liebman says. “There's no tobacco. There's no nicotine. There really is no after-effect."

Shaniyya Pickney, of Bronx Breathes, says that studies have found non-tobacco hookah smokers are also putting themselves at risk of cardiac problems.

“Regardless of whether it's tobacco or non-tobacco, there's still going to be problems affecting you in the long term," said Pickney.

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