Calls to Poison Centers for hookah smoking exposures

Sandra S. Retzky, Henry A. Spiller, Priscilla Callahan-Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past decade, smoking behaviors have changed in the US. Hookah or waterpipe smoking is increasing, especially among youth and young adults. Social media sites describe the “hookah high” or “buzz”, which may be related to nicotine, carbon monoxide, or other inhalants in hookah smoke. Most important is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Case reports include a high number of victims presenting with loss of consciousness from either syncope or seizures. Anaphylaxis and a very rare respiratory hypersensitivity reaction, acute eosinophilic pneumonia, have also been reported from hookah smoking in previously healthy young adults. This article provides background information on hookah smoking, describes hookah-induced acute injuries that could precipitate poison center calls, and offers suggestions for exposure characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-445
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Hookah
  • acute eosinophilic pneumonia
  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • narghile
  • shisha
  • waterpipe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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