Experts report CO poisoning increase due to hookah smoking

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

New York City Health and Hospitals/Jacobi is recording an increase in carbon monoxide poisoning related to hookah smoking.

The number has almost tripled since 2015.

"People who smoke it would complain of headache and chest tightness and nausea and dizziness. Well basically, what they're suffering from is carbon monoxide poisoning,” says Robert Rivera, director of Jacobi Hyperbaric Center.

Rivera says patients are taken to the hyperbaric chamber after they, for example, have sat through an hourlong hookah session, passed out, were brought to the emergency room and were found to have high levels of carbon monoxide.

Once in the chamber, the air pressure is increased so the lungs can gather more oxygen. The blood then carries that oxygen throughout the body, replacing the carbon monoxide.

Rivera adds that a normal hourlong session of smoking hookah is equivalent to smoking almost five packs of cigarettes.

Go HERE to watch an extended interview with Rivera.

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