What is a Water Pipe?
A Water Pipe is a filtration device used for smoking tobacco and other herbal substances. Water pipes come in many different forms, such as hookahs, and bongs. The purpose of the water pipe is that the cooling effect of the water reduces the chance of burning the individual smoking as compared to smoking tobacco. Although smoking tobacco through a water pipe has been around for centuries and is still highly prevalent in the Middle East it is widely known with the use of cannabis, or marijuana, in this country.
Unbeknownst to many, smoking out of a water pipe is just as dangerous and just as addictive as smoking cigarettes. Because the “drag” one takes off of a hookah the research shows that individuals who use water pipes are actually inhaling more chemicals and carcinogens then individuals who smoke cigarette and an hour long session, which is customary, involves smoking up to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from one cigarette. Water pipe smokers are prone to the same risks of illness as cigarette smokers including heart conditions, cancer, emphysema and decreased fertility.
Are water pipes illegal?
According to U.S. statute it is illegal to “sell, transport through the mail, transport across state lines, import, or export, drug paraphernalia.” This includes water pipes. However, the law is broad in its determination of what is and what is not drug paraphernalia. Head shops do still exist in the cities and on the internet. This is because smoking tobacco is a legitimate reason for possessing a water pipe. For this reason signs in head shops will have disclaimers stating that the water pipes are only for tobacco use. The shopkeepers will often turn away customers who use the word “bong” or express intentions of using it for illegal purposes. Most notably, the actor Tommy Chong was arrested and imprisoned for his association with a water pipe that was sold on the internet.
Although the real cause of injury in situations concerning smoking of water pipes is the tobacco itself there may be legal action on taken against the manufacturers of water pipes. The research on water pipes is not as conclusive as those for cigarettes but it is apparent that the dangers are similar.
If you or someone you know has been injured do to smoking tobacco through a water pipe and you have developed any adverse medical conditions associated with smoking then it is in your best interest to consult an attorney.
Aside from injury suits against the tobacco companies themselves it is possible to file an action for injury based on defective design against the manufacturers of the water pipe. Don’t sit on your rights as the statute of limitations tolls. Consult an attorney about your conditions and your exposure to these products today.