Metals linked to cancer are present in higher levels in medwakh and shisha products than in cigarettes, according to a story at thenational.ae citing a new UAE study.

Scientists in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were said to have found that, in comparisons to cigarettes, both medwakh and shisha tobacco contain more nickel, chromium, copper and zinc.

The research follows a study earlier this year reporting much higher levels of nicotine and tar being delivered by medwakh than by cigarettes.

The researchers said this put smokers at risk of developing a range of serious medical problems, including lung cancer and coronary artery disease.

“Traditional medwakh and shisha pipes have no filters, so toxic metals can quickly enter the lungs, causing different diseases, such as lung and oral cancers, oral infections and cardiovascular diseases,” said Ayesha Mohammed, a chemistry lecturer at the University of Sharjah and the lead author of the study.

“I would never recommend dokha [medwakh] and shisha smoking because both don’t have filters, so trace elements can easily enter the human body compared to cigarettes and cause several cancers.

“Medwakh smoking is a loaded pistol and time will pull the trigger.”

Published in Oxford University Press’s Journal of Analytical Toxicology, the latest study looked at 13 medwakh tobacco products and three shisha products, analysing their properties to determine metal concentrations.

The levels were then compared with cigarette tobacco to establish which was more likely to pose health risks.

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