A Toronoto-based oncologist (cancer doctor) is promoting an alternative to the cold-turkey method of smoking cessation. Rather than confronting cigarette smoking, Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar is taking on the increasingly more popular hookah, also known by alternative names– “shisha,” “narghile,” “arghila,” and “waterpipe.” The device, which originated in the Persian empire came into use in the 16th century and spread to much of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It works by burning charcoal to heat either herbs or tobacco, the latter of which is often flavored, and smoke is produced. The device sends the smoke (and carbon dioxide emitted by the user) through the water to cool it. The water seems like a good filter for harmful agents, but it really is not.
According to Dr. Bhatnagar, more than 100 million people worldwide use a hookah every day. In most American cities, you can now find any number of hookah bars or lounges and even non-tobacco users join what feels like an exotic ritual. However, the Canadian physician points out that an hour-long hookah session is actually far worse for you than smoking cigarettes. One hour sharing the hookah is basically equivalent to smoking 200 cigarettes.
Rather than presenting hookah smokers with the “quit or suffer the consequences” options, Dr. Bhatnagar has provided an alternative. He’s invented a 3D printed adapter that converts a traditional hookah to an electronic or “e-hookah.” Like the popular e-cigarettes, the e-hookah heats up a liquid that typically contains nicotine and various flavors, and emits vapor rather than smoke. Therefore, the dangers presented by smoking–the combustion involved–is eliminated along with the cancer-causing agents. With e-cigarettes and e-hookahs, there is no tar, carbon monoxide, or the array of other chemicals found in tobacco products.
Many hookah smokers say they enjoy the ritual, including the social aspect of using the device. Says Dr. Bhatnagar, “The adapter that we’ve invented allows them to still engage in this social practice…We believe it will help hookah smokers reduce the harm by almost 99%.”
That’s where Canadian, crowd-sourced, e-cigarette company, 180 Smoke comes in. Dr. Bhatnagar collaborated with 180 Smoke to make the hookah adapter free of charge and accessible online for 3D printing. You can print the adapter and fit it over the top of a traditional hookah. It replaces the ceramic bowl and allows the user to insert standard electronic cigarettes.
That’s where Canadian, crowd-sourced, e-cigarette company, 180 Smoke comes in. Dr. Gopal collaborated with 180 Smoke to make the hookah adapter free of charge and accessible online for 3D printing. You can print the adapter and fit it over the top of a traditional hookah. It replaces the ceramic bowl and allows the user to insert standard electronic cigarettes.
If you don’t have a 3D printer, the adapter can be ordered through Shapeways. For those with 3D printers, the file for printing your own adapter may be downloaded through Creative Commons and the company encourages 3D artists and designers to make adjustments to the design–customize it and “share it back.” Similar hookah adapters cost as much as $200, so there is further impetus to switch to the seemingly less unhealthy version of the device. Are you a hookah smoker? Would you consider using this adapter and e-cigarettes instead? Let’s hear your thoughts in the 3D Printed hookah forum thread on 3DPB.com.