SALT LAKE CITY -- Starting Monday, the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act rule will include provisions to protect people from tobacco smoke from a hookah.
The new language, according to the Utah Department of Health, will be in line with the intent of the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act statute that mandates the elimination of secondhand smoke exposure in indoor public places. The intent is to clarify that hookah products are just as hazardous to your health as cigarette smoke.
"Secondhand tobacco smoke is known to cause cancer in humans," said Steve Hadden, of the health tobacco prevention and control program and UDOH. "There is simply no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke."
New and emerging tobacco products are coming out on the market, according to UDOH. With growing concern from the public and businesses about tobacco smoke, the rule consistently eliminates secondhand smoke exposure in indoor public places people visit every day including health care settings, worksites and restaurants that are already required to be smoke-free spaces.
One of the products being touted as safer is a hookah, a water pipe with a smoke chamber, bowl, pipe and hose. According to the Mayo Clinic, hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including cancer-causing chemicals, tar, heavy metals and carbon monoxide. Hookah smoking has also been linked to lung and oral cancers and heart disease. It also delivers about the same amount of nicotine as cigarette smoking and poses dangers associated with secondhand smoke.
Other products coming onto the market include cigarettes with "new and improved" filters, cigarette-like products -- such as lollipops and lozenges -- that are easily confused with pharmaceutical products for quitting, and spit-tobacco products.
For more information on quitting, call the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT.NOW or visit www.UtahQuitNet.com.