Long-Lived Hoax about Middle East Peace Pipe (1 Hookah Equals 100 Cigarettes) Officially Abandoned

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100_CigarettesHistoric quoteworthy statements: -“Smoking from a hookah during a typical 45-minute session is equivalent to smoking about 100 cigarettes, [Thomas] EISSENBERG said(ABC News, 01 June 2011)[1]. -“Shisha 200 times worse than a cigarette” say Middle East experts [interview with Wasim MAZIAK and Alan SHIHADEH (Action on Smoking and Health, 27 March 2007 [2].

The global antismoking “community” sponsored by the great names of the pharmaceutical industry (nicotine “replacement” tools and medicines: from gums to patches, Chantix, etc.) and disseminating its ««science»» in such journals as “Tobacco Control”, “Nicotine and Tobacco Research” or “Addiction”, has now officially and publicly abandoned the long-lived hoax related to the world famous “equivalence”: “1 Middle East Peace Pipe (Hookah, Shisha, Narghile) = 100 (at least) cigarettes” [3]. This has been done because it could not endure anymore that great stain on its credibility yet referred to as early as 2006 when the critique of the WHO flawed report on the Middle East Peace Pipe (Hookah, Shisha, Narghile) was published [4].



[The popularity of our critique of the WHO flawed report (the most viewed article on the journal’ site totalising some 60,000 KTLI views – and some 800 for the last 30 days) seems now embarrassing for some quarters. Readers can check by themselves how the only article that is not showing up in their “Most Popular Articles” list there is ours, the most viewed. Please also note that our article has been there, heading the list, for 8 years, continuously]

http://www.jnrbm.com/mostviewed/alltime (the same for monthly, yearly stats)

The WHO, via the BioMed Central group, is apparently censoring the most viewed article in that journal…

Would the article be dangerous for some parties?


Interestingly, the famous experts behind the not less famous equivalence are those cited in the above quotations. They are not less than the three chief authors of the WHO flawed report: Thomas Eissenberg (TE), Wasim Maziak (WM) and Alan Shihadeh (AS). Contrary to some insinuations, such a report is the direct source of the global meant confusion. The first objective of the latter was to scare users of the Middle East Peace Pipe whose popularity has been suddenly and continuously growing for two decades now.

The WHO paper was not a “study” as some people believe, but a mere antiscientific political document in which the volume of smoke produced by a shisha (in unrealistic conditions in a laboratory of the US-American University of Beirut) is compared with that generated by a single cigarette. However, this argument was not enough for the mainstream media (ranging, e.g., from the uppish BBC to the snobbish Forbes Magazine and from the hysterical ABC to the pseudo-cool Huffington Post [5, 6, 1, 7].

So, not only the three experts (TE, WM, AS) were consulted by the media on every “important” occasion [1-2], but the same WHO flawed report also lied about the chemical composition of the smoke generated by the Middle East Peace Pipe, “giving (the readers) to understand” that not only it could be scientifically compared with that produced by a cigarette but that it was even much more toxic…. In the above-mentioned interview, TE put it in the following deliciously antiscientific terms: “”There is a great deal of tar in hookah smoke,” continued Eissenberg. “A person gets about 36 times the amount of tar in a hookah session compared to a cigarette”[1]. Our critique of the report was the first to expose, among other methodological tricks, that very one about tar [4].

Further scientific publications critical of this type of pseudoscience would eventually contribute in shattering the numerous fallacies regarding the actual use (and misuse) of the Middle East Peace Pipe. The second objective of the “1 Hookah = 100 cigarettes” hoax was to spread confusion at the global level. Unsurprisingly, its protagonists (among them TE, WM and AS) are members of the totalitarian Globalink secret society [8]. The “revocation” was publicly announced by their colleagues in order to save their faces, and as if nothing had happened [9-10]

Against this new backdrop, another myth had to be found which would take over the dead one…. It would be ««waterpipe»» “nicotine “addiction”” even if, as some observers already know, it is actually one of the greatest fallacies in tobacco research [11].

Additionally, a new mantra was designed: shisha smoking would now entail the “same health risks as cigarettes”… Not only has the toxicity ratio suddenly been divided by 100…, but such a statement remains as false as unscientific as the previous one [12]….


References :

[1] ABC News. Should Government Crack Down on Hookah Lounges? By Mikaela Conley, June 1, 2011 http://abcnews.go.com/Health/government-crack-hookahs/story?id=13725723

[2] ASH (Action on Smoking and Health). ““Shisha 200 times worse than a cigarette” say Middle East experts””. 27 March 2007 (prepared by Martin Dockrell)(accessed 13 June, 2008) [based, among others, on an interview with Wasim Maziak and Alan Shihadeh, respectively heads of the US-“Syrian and US-American University of Beirut anti-««waterpipe»» centres] Sub-heading: “Three leading experts from across the Middle East have warned that excluding “shisha bars” when England goes smokefree on July 1 could worsen the grave inequalities in health that already affect ethnic minorities”. (Note: none of the experts worked or live in the UK…). http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/shisha-200-times-worse-than-a-cigarette-say-middle-east-experts

[3] Jawad M, Bakir AM, Ali M, Jawad S, Akl EA. Key health themes and reporting of numerical cigarette–waterpipe equivalence in online news articles reporting on waterpipe tobacco smoking: a content analysis. Tob. Control. Online 18 July 2013, 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-050981 http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2013/07/17/tobaccocontrol-2013-050981.abstract

[4] Chaouachi K. A Critique of the WHO’s TobReg “Advisory Note” entitled: “Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: Health Effects, Research Needs and Recommended Actions by Regulators. Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine 2006 (17 Nov); 5:17. Doi:10.1186/1477-5751-5-17 http://www.jnrbm.com/content/5/1/17

[5] Snowdon, Chris. Shisha Madness: BBC and Department of Health accused of “gross exaggeration” in shisha story. 25 Aug 2009. www.pr-inside.com/bbc-accused-of-gross-exaggeration-in-r1453218.htm

[6] Dr Robert Glatter. Is Hookah Smoking Less Harmful than Cigarette Smoking? 18 Sep 2012 http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2012/09/18/is-hookah-smoking-less-harmful-than-cigarette-smoking/

[7] Hookah Smoking No Less Harmful Than Cigarettes, Study Finds. The Huffington Post and Reuters. 23 April 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/23/hookah-not-less-harmful-than-cigarettes-_n_3133590.html

[8] See: Globalink Undeclared Non-Financial Global Conflicts of Interest in Tobacco Smoking. 30 Oct 2010 https://hookahhealth.wordpress.com/article/globalink-undeclared-non-financial-534k6mvefph-18/

[9] (Note) in a way very similar to the US Administration “admitting” a few years later that “some” “tactical” errors” had been made during the war against Iraq, ««morally»»  ««justified»» by the ««presence»» of ««weapons of mass destruction»». Such a war cost the lives of more than one million Iraqis. However, Wasim Maziak, recently, went so far as playing down the death toll in that country [10]

[10] See:  ““Arab Spring””. Public Health Researchers from Universities of Cambridge, Florida & London School of Hygiene, Deny the Reality of One Million Iraqi Deaths – in pro-NATO Paper [««Printemps arabe»». Dans un article pro-OTAN, des chercheurs en santé publique des universités de Cambridge, Floride et de l’Ecole d’Hygiène de Londres nient la mort d’un million de personnes en Irak]. 10 April 2013 https://hookahhealth.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/three-public-health-researchers-deny-the-reality-of-one-million-deaths-in-iraq-in-pro-nato-paper/

[11] See: “««Waterpipe»» Addiction”: one of the Greatest Fallacies in Tobacco Research. 05 Sept 2013 https://hookahhealth.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/waterpipe-addiction-one-of-the-greatest-fallacies-in-tobacco-research/

[12] Chaouachi K. False positive result in study on hookah smoking and cancer in Kashmir: measuring risk of poor hygiene is not the same as measuring risk of inhaling water filtered tobacco smoke all over the world. Br J Cancer. 2013 Apr 2;108(6):1389-90. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.98. Epub 2013 Mar 7. http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/bjc201398a.html https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235843685_False_positive_result_in_study_on_hookah_smoking_and_cancer_in_Kashmir_measuring_risk_of_poor_hygiene_is_not_the_same_as_measuring_risk_of_inhaling_water_filtered_tobacco_smoke_all_over_the_world



The following recently published material may be of interest to the reader:

Use & Misuse of Water-filtered Tobacco Smoking Pipes in the World. Consequences for Public Health, Research & Research Ethics. The Open Medicinal Chemistry Journal 2015 (27 Feb) ; 9:1-12. Doi: 10.2174/1874104501509010001. PMID: 25861403


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