• [Warning: this is not a "blog"!] Investigating (from both a biomedical and social science standpoint) HOW and WHY the now gone global Middle East Peace Pipe (hookah, shisha, narghile, etc.) -which has been around for centuries without causing any social or public health concern- has suddenly become (year 2002) a major “health problem” (sic), a “global epidemic” (sic) and necessarily-"addictive" (sic)...

    Such an investigation is also based on pioneering studies on cancer, environmental pollution, radioactivity, etc. (see publications list). Amazingly, there is now an amazing consensus formed by an incongruous alliance of supposed archenemies: from Big Pharma (nicotine medicines) researchers (incl. “sponsored” ones from Asia and Africa) to those of Big Tobacco (regular cigarettes) and from “Tobacco Harm Reduction” (E-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco) proponents to religious leaders (rulings to “justify” bans…). Interestingly, the so-called “public health” “concern”, based on cumulating pseudo-science, actually emerged in the wake of the 9/11 events… NOW, findings from scientific research over four centuries show that the smoke from the mystic Middle East Peace Pipe (MEPP) is much less toxic than the one generated by the secular cigarette. If you are a (regular) user of this kind of instrument, beware of how you handle the charcoal however (as you would do with a barbecue). The point of utmost importance is to AVOID BURNING the moassel/tabamel (as in their pseudo-scientific “studies” in laboratories or their clinical ones involving inexperienced guinea-pigs) but rather generate a sort of VAPOUR, close to what an E-CIGARETTE releases. Experienced users, particularly in the Middle East, always leave a thin (air) layer between the heating source (e.g., charcoal) and the moassel (tin foil can fit between both) so that the resulting thermodynamic system can be compared to COOKING ON A LOW HEAT (vs. high one as in the case of cigarettes or bad science «studies»). Keep in mind that if the MEPP is less harmful, this does not mean that it is harmless (antismoking researchers do not distinguish on purpose, between these two notions). Note: on the one hand, the pages BELOW are those previously known as "Knols" (migrated to this ANNOTUM site for 'force majeure' reasons as we did not have any personal reason or interest in opening any new "blog" about the MEPP and health issues). It seems that all the images (and more seriously, the numerous essential bibliographical references) have been lost during the transfer. The UPDATE of these first texts HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED from that time. Nota bene: on the other hand, the pages on the RIGHT HAND SIDE COLUMN are much more recent articles than the "old" "Knols" BELOW. This way, they also usefully complete the older texts with fresh information. Thank you for your understanding and for raising awareness on these issues.

Hookah FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Frequently Asked Questions about Hookah (Shisha, Narghile, "Water Pipe") Smoking

<para></para> <para><img src=”https://hookahhealth.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/cafe1.jpg?w=242&#8243; class=”_inline_graphic” alt=””>Syria, with love (source: our book, 2007) [58]</para> <para>Article published in 2013 in the <bold>British Journal of Cancer</bold>, shattering in only 1,000 words <bold>one full decade of pseudoscientific claims and methods</bold> regarding the so-called toxicity of the Middle East Peace Pipe (Hookah, Shisha, Narghile)</para> <para>Chaouachi K. False positive result in study […]

Systematic Errors and Biases in “Systematic Review”on ““Waterpipe””

Source: "Peer-Reviewed" International Journal of Epidemiology.

This is a critique of Elie Akl et al (University of New York at Buffalo) “Systematic Review” of the Cochrane type on the “Effects of Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking on Health Outcomes” recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE). The paper hypes the HAZARDS OF CANCER and the authors managed to select only the studies they saw relevant for their “assessment” of “health outcomes”, cancer in particular. As expected from antismoking researchers, they dismissed (details given in their “eligibility criteria”) the most relevant studies when they did not find a sufficient cancer risk… Amazingly, they mostly relied on studies led in China based on water pipes working with NO charcoal and in which tobacco is BURNT as in cigarettes, contrary to what the authors believed… This point is certainly not a detail because the chemistry of smoke is completely different and, as a consequence, the potential health effects…

As we pointed out elsewhere, the right place to discuss a controversial paper containing serious errors and biases is the journal in which it was published. Unfortunately, for political (and not scientific) reasons, this is not always possible. When confronted with this problem, the IJE, a journal which has apparently adopted a clear antismoking line, rejected a critique of the flawed paper. Interestingly, they accepted a Letter by Wasim Maziak, the author of the WHO flawed report and renown ““waterpipe”” antismoking researcher…

Following a necessary foreword, we offer a critique of the document.

READ ALSO (same critique published in the Chest journal) : Chaouachi K. More Rigor Needed in Systematic Reviews on “Waterpipe” (Hookah, Narghile, Shisha) Smoking. Chest May 2011 139:5 1250-1251. Doi:10.1378/chest.10-2864 http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/139/5/1250.full

The Syrian Ban on Smoking in Hospitality Venues (Cafes, etc.)

Revolution: The Challenge of Scientific Integrity

Tobacco is injurious for health and the Syrian government is right to ban smoking in certain public places. However, the recently enacted decree does not distinguish between non-ventilated, poorly and well-ventilated public areas [1]. The case of Syrian coffee houses is striking for the inconsistency and poses the question of the scientific integrity of the US and Syrian experts who touted the ban.

Du plagiat au métaplagiat ou les métastases d’un totalitarisme en germe

(English : Plagiarism, Metaplagiarism : Metastases of an Emerging Totalitarianism)

Résumés en français & English Summary Comment un plagiat commis en France – par Bertrand DAUTZENBERG, président de l’OFT (Office Français du Tabagisme) et Jean-Yves NAU, journaliste au journal Le Monde) et doublé de la plus grande imposture de l’histoire de la recherche sur le tabac [ 1-4]- vient de faire l’objet, en Belgique, d’une […]

Big Tobacco & Big Pharma Against “Oriental” Hookah Outsider

Evidence about One Undeclared Funding Source of WHO Shisha (““Waterpipe””-Coded) Antismoking Research

This article shows that biomedical ethics is not universal as so-called “prestigious” biomedical journals and publishing groups claim. When it comes to ““waterpipe”” (hookah, narghile, shisha) antismoking research, all ethics seems meaningless.

The would-be reason is that hookah, unlike cigarettes, is viewed (more and more with a xenophobic bias) as a non-European or non-US “product” despite the fact that many reports show that the youth of these last regions are particularly keen on learning more about the socio-cultural context of shisha smoking.

From there, all “slips” have been permitted (in a way very similar to the present war in the Mediterranean – the methods are always the same…). Among others:

-the most unscientific groundless statements (comparisons between hookah and cigarette smoke in particular)[11] may be published in “high impact-factor” scientific journals boasting of being ““peer-reviewed””;

-whistle blowing on undisclosed conflicts of interests involving the pharmaceutical industry and even the tobacco industry are systematically silenced and swept under the carpet (“we do not consider there is a problem” – see further down).

First draft (25 March 2011)

Globalink Secret Society and its Undeclared Non-Financial Global Conflicts of Interest in Tobacco Smoking Research

A very serious issue submitted, on 13 Apr 2010, to the Editor-in-Chief of the BMC Public Health online journal.

QUESTION : What is the value of tobacco antismoking biomedical articles when the peer-reviewers of the manuscripts submitted to the corresponding journals are, most of the time, members (*) of the antismoking Globalink network, i .e . affiliated with the same organisation as the authors (*) ?

(*) or, because they are too busy to follow up on Globalink daily activity, colleagues of such members. The latter are this way in charge of periodically “briefing” their antismoking peers about ongoing discussions within Globalink.

RESPONSE : Such a literature is to be used as « evidence » to support smoking bans (most of the time unjustified) across the world, for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry which generously funds in many cases (directly or indirectly), the authors, the peer-reviewers and the Globalink network itself.

NOTE : when it comes to «« waterpipe »» papers, the peer-reviewers are often chosen among the handful of « official » US-funded «« waterpipe »» antismoking experts : Wasim Maziak, Thomas Eissenberg, Alan Shihadeh (US-Syrian and US-Lebanese antismoking centres).

An Anthology of Serious though Widespread Errors in the ““Waterpipe”” (Hookah, Shisha, Narghile) Mainstream Biomedical Literature

Tobacco is Dangerous. However, parotting in this field of research has been detrimental to public health

This anthology refers to serious errors officially published, in general, in international peer-reviewed biomedical journals. Electronic links are provided in each case so the reader can check by her/himself. This is (as of October 2009) a preliminary draft representing only the “top of the iceberg”. It will be updated as the work proceeds. Please return.

Prohibition Through the Hookah Looking-Glass (Speech)

Speech delivered at the second world conference of TICAP (The International Coalition Against Prohibition)[Theme: “Are Guests Welcome? Prohibition and the Hospitality Industry”]. 15 Mar 2010. Nieuwspoort; The Hague, The Netherlands.

“”From a scientific viewpoint, he is convinced that the peculiarity of the hookah issue will make soon the whole tobacco prohibition system collapse for the worldwide benefit of non-smokers, ex-smokers and smokers of cigarettes, hookahs and other products alike.”

“Dr Chaouachi also found that Prohibition based on shoddy science collides with the holy teachings of a world great religion (Seek good sound science “from the cradle to the grave”). Consequently, he calls States to collectively withdraw from the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control and demand accountability (The Hague Court)”.