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Hookah smoker, 20, contracts TUBERCULOSIS from smoking trendy devices

Smoking trendy hookah waterpipes ‘could spread TUBERCULOSIS’ as 20-year-old regular user is struck down with the killer infection

  • Unidentified patient, from Sweden, rushed to hospital after coughing up blood 
  • Was a regular hookah smoker and used fruit-flavoured devices five times a week
  • Medics believed he contracted vicious infection from sharing mouthpiece 

A 20-year-old contracted tuberculosis from smoking a trendy hookah pipe, doctors have warned.

The unidentified patient, from Sweden, rushed to hospital after coughing up blood following three months of chest pains and a high fever.

An X-ray and CT scan of the man’s chest revealed the vicious bacterial infection had got into his lungs.

The patient was a regular hookah smoker and used the fruit-flavoured devices up to five times a week with friends.

Medics believe he contracted TB from the mouthpiece of a hookah pipe, which are often passed around friends during smoking sessions. 

A 20-year-old contracted tuberculosis from smoking hookah pipes. A chest X-ray showed he had lesions in his left lung (left) and a CT scan revealed the extent of the damage (right)

Canadian rapper Drake is thought to be a fan of shisha smoking after he was snapped on Instagram indulging in a hookah pipe

Kylie Minogue is one of a number of A-listers to be pictured inhaling the fruit-flavoured devices

They say the number of puffs inhaled from a hookah is 10 times higher than when smoking a cigarette because sessions can go on for hours in bars and lounges. 

This means users are exposed to a higher volume of harmful bacteria and susceptible to infections.

The case was revealed in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.

Writing in the journal, the scientists said doctors must be aware of the increased risk of hookah pipes as their popularity continues to surge.

They say physicians must quiz patients about their hookah smoking habits if TB is suspected.

Up to a fifth of young people in the US and Europe use the devices, as well as famous footballers and celebrities.

Previous studies have suggested the devices are more harmful than cigarettes. Pictured: Singer Katy Perry is pictured smoking shisha

Shisha usually consists of a bowl that holds tobacco and is attached to hose that leads from a body of water to a mouthpiece (pictured)

Drake, Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue are just some of the biggest stars to be pictured smoking the pipes. 

Hookah is an ancient form of smoking in which charcoal-heated tobacco or non-tobacco based shisha smoke is passed through water before inhalation. 0

In August, a University of California study found one draw of a hookah pipe had the equivalent amount of hazardous substances as an entire cigarette.

They discovered the water actually creates ultrafine particles which are able to reach the deepest parts of the lungs.

Chemists analysed emissions during a typical waterpipe session using custom-built apparatus. 

The waterpipe produced a significantly larger amount of carbon monoxide (CO) compared to a cigarette, according to the findings published in the journal Aerosol Science and Technology.

This is mainly due to the burning of charcoal to heat the tobacco or herbal mixture in its bowl.

The dose of CO from a single waterpipe smoking session was equivalent to a dose of CO from 12 cigarettes, the authors wrote.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread between people by coughing and sneezing.

The infection usually affects the lungs but the bacteria can cause problems in any part of the body, including the abdomen, glands, bones and the nervous system.

At the beginning of the 19th century, TB killed at least one in seven people in England. But today – thanks to improvements in health, faster diagnoses and effective antibiotics – less than six per cent of those with TB are killed by the disease, with just under 4,672 cases reported in the UK in 2018.

Despite these improvements, in 2010 a report into TB in London and Britain as a whole found that the number of cases in the capital had risen by almost 50 per cent from 1999. 

Professor Alimuddin Zumla of University College London attributed the rise to people living under ‘Victorian’ conditions, with poor housing, inadequate ventilation and overcrowding in certain deprived areas of London.

He also said the increase in TB cases was predominantly among people born outside Britain, but who appear to have been infected in the UK, rather than in their country of origin.

The infection usually affects the lungs but the bacteria can cause problems in any part of the body, including the abdomen, glands, bones and the nervous system

TB infection causes symptoms like fever, coughing, night sweats, weight loss, tiredness and fatigue, a loss of appetite and swellings in the neck.

If the immune system fails to contain TB bacteria the infection can take weeks or months to take hold and produce symptoms, and if it is left untreated it can be fatal. 

TB is most common in less developed countries in sub-saharan and west Africa, southeast Asia, Russia, China and South America.  

Researchers in Wales said that of those infected with this disease in 2017, 55 per cent were born outside the UK. 

Although, 20 per cent had at least one of the following social risk factors: 

  • Being in prison
  • Alcoholism
  • IV drug use
  • Poor housing or homelessness 

Source: NHS   

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  • Posted on January 20, 2020