Hubbly bubbly


Investigation into the use of hubbly bubbly (hookah/water-pipe)

Terms of reference: As requested by our Chemistry lecturer, this report investigates the components, composition, inhalation process and health hazards associated with our chosen topic - hubbly bubbly. The report serves as a chemical investigation by a group of first year chiropractic students at the University of Johannesburg.


* Research was conducted via the internet in 4 categories, namely:

1. Composition and components of hubbly bubbly.

2. Tobacco and flavours

3. Coal and combustion

4. Inhalation and health hazards

* The information was summarized and referenced and drawn up in this report



1. A smoker will inhale through the hose component of the hubbly bubbly. A vacuum will form over the water in the base of the bowl, which draws air through the component. The air as well as products from the coal combustion and the tobacco flavours, will travel into the water causing bubbles and adding moisture into the smoke.[1] This smoke then travels through the smokers lips, into the mouth, down the trachea and optionally into the lungs.

2. The smoke inhaled by a smoker during a typical hubbly bubbly session (20-80 minutes) can be equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes. Each puff can range from 0.15 - 1 litre of smoke being drawn or inhaled and a smoker can smoke 50 - 200 puffs during a session.[2]

3. Many people believe that smoking a hubbly bubbly is a safer alternative to cigarettes, believing that the water absorbs any dangerous substances. This assumption is only true to a certain extent because while the H2O does absorb some of the nicotine from the tobacco, it is not enough absorption to avoid a smoker from becoming addicted.[3] In fact, reports by World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society have shown that an average hubbly session can contain up to 70 times more nicotine than a cigarette.[4]

4. Since the H2O does not absorb majority of the nicotine found in tobacco, it does not absorb products from the coal combustion such as carbon-monoxide (CO), heavy metals and carcinogens either.[5] These products therefore enter into the body through inhaling the hubbly bubbly smoke, first or second-hand. These substances can lead to a poor quality of life and even a premature death. A study in the Journal of Periodontology showed that hubbly bubbly smokers were five times more likely of showing gum-disease symptoms and had five times the risk of becoming victims of lung cancer.[6] Pregnant women and their foetus are particularly open to harm from the smoke toxicants found in hubbly bubbly smoke.

5. Hubbly bubbly often involves sharing a mouthpiece with various other people when smoking socially. This could threaten smokers with the easy transmission of communicable diseases. Eg. Hepatitis and Tuberculosis.


Although it has been stated by the World Health Organization that hubbly bubbly smoking has not been as intensely researched as cigarettes, we are still able to make various conclusions.

Smoking of hubbly bubbly is not a healthier alternative to smoking a cigarette since toxicants are still released from the tobacco and coal combustion. Although the water in the base of the hubbly absorbs a minimal amount of nicotine, the amount of this product found in the hubbly smoke is enough to cause addiction. The water in the hubbly simply adds moisture to the smoke inhaled, therefore decreasing the irritation in the respiratory system of the human body. The volume of smoke and therefore toxicants inhaled in a typical hubbly session is much larger than that of a cigarette, therefore placing hubbly smokers and second-hand smokers at more risk of contracting respiratory diseases and other ailments such as gum disease.


1. Anti-tobacco campaigns such as (CAT) - Chiropractors Against Tobacco, a campaign initiative by the World Federation of Chiropractic.[7]

2. Information such as posters, brochures and bold statements need to be made freely available to provide the public with information, warnings and suggestions for good health regarding tobacco consumption especially hubbly bubbly usage.

3. More research needs to be carried out to be able to make people aware of hubbly bubbly usage with proven facts and information.

4. Health care practitioners need to have free access to additional information regarding tobacco consumption in the form of hubbly bubbly to be able to question patients about any related symptoms.

BIBLIOGRAPHY 18/02/2010 25/02/2010 01/03/2010

[1] WHO Tobacco Free Initiative, TobReg, Advisory note, 2003 (Description of waterpipes and waterpipe smoking) pg 2



[4]World Health Organization and American Cancer Society

[5] WHO Tobacco Free Initiative, TobReg, Advisory note, 2003 (science base and conclusions) pg 5

[6] Journal of Periodontology

[7] World Federation of Chiropractic, (CAT campaign) - Approved in Orlando, Florida, 2003

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!