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#1
Old 05-28-2005, 05:45 PM
CC CC is offline
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Which filters tobacco better, cigarette filters or water?

I'm thinking that the hookah (or bong, I suppose) has long been a source of some comfort to smokers, since the smoke is filtered and cooled. But I'm wondering how effective the water is as a filter compared to the little filters on cigarettes. Does anyone know of anything resembling research on this question? Thanks. xo C.
#2
Old 05-28-2005, 06:22 PM
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NPR did a piece some years back where the tobacco industry found that filters actually concentrate many of the things people think they're supposed to be filtering out (this was back in the 1950s). Modern cigarette filters have air holes in the side of them to inject more air into the smoke, thus reducing the amount of smoke one inhales. How that compares with a hooka, I've no idea.
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#3
Old 05-28-2005, 08:03 PM
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As an avid sheesha/hookah fan myself (tobacco!), I'd be very interested in someone providing a solid answer to this one. The Dictionary of Tobacco says the following:

Quote:
This filtration is suggested to filter out, in part, tar and nicotine from the tobacco. However, most brands of shisha tobacco generally contain a mention saying "no tar" and very small amounts of nicotine (0.5%) to begin with.
The big shocker to me was this line in the same article:

Quote:
Fruit-flavored shisha got its start in the late 1980s when Egyptian tobacco companies experimented with flavored tobacco as a way to transition people away from cigarette smoking.
Wow, I thought that went back several decades if not much earlier! Learn somethin' new every day...
#4
Old 05-29-2005, 09:50 AM
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Flavored tobacco for the shishah goes back centuries in the Middle East. They used to make a variety called mu‘assal which means literally 'treated with honey'. I don't have the recipe, but they used to wrap up tobacco leaves with honey, apples, spices, I don't know what all, and bury it for a few months to let the flavor mellow. Being coated with honey preserved it from decomposition.

Maybe your reference meant that the newfangled fruit flavors like raspberry, banana, or whatever were introduced only a few years ago.
#5
Old 05-29-2005, 10:44 AM
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I also curiously await the answer to this.

I've taken the occasional hit off of a hookah. I wondered about it the first time, because in tv and movies you see people coughing and choking and looking like putzes the first time they try a cigarette. I didn't have that experience with a hookah, and I've never tried a cigarette, but I figured there must be something less irritating about the smoke.
#6
Old 05-29-2005, 11:10 AM
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Not only does the water filter out some chemicals (i.e., the water-soluble ones), the act of bubbling the smoke through water cools off the smoke. This makes it less harsh on the throat and lungs.
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Old 05-29-2005, 12:25 PM
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Right - that's what my OP said. But I am hoping to find someone who could direct me (us) to some respectable research on the question. xo C.
#8
Old 05-29-2005, 01:25 PM
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Sorry, CC, I was mostly responding to Miss V.

I found this site, which deals mostly with THC, not nicotine, but they find that hookahs (well, ok, bongs) aren't any good. Why? The water filters THC better than the carcinogens. (Cannabanoids aren't carcinogenic in and of themselves.) Don't know if the same could be said of nicotine, but it's possible.

http://growkind.com/vaporizer-study.html

I found it helpful when searching google to searh for "cigarette filter" in quotes to avoid sites dealing with water filters and such.

To get any deeper, please clarify what component of the smoke you're interested in filtering. Tar? Carcinogens? Nicotine? Heat? Water obviously wins that last one.
#9
Old 05-29-2005, 04:18 PM
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I'm one of those people who smokes it more like a cigar; I don't do the deep-lung inhale thing. That makes a big difference in smoothness all by itself. Different strokes for different folks.

Thanks for the info, Johanna. Little wonder that was so surprising; it was wrong! So much for the Dictionary of Tobacco...
#10
Old 05-29-2005, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake4
I found this site, which deals mostly with THC, not nicotine, but they find that hookahs (well, ok, bongs) aren't any good. Why? The water filters THC better than the carcinogens. (Cannabanoids aren't carcinogenic in and of themselves.) Don't know if the same could be said of nicotine, but it's possible.

http://growkind.com/vaporizer-study.html
I only skimmed the article, so maybe I just missed it, but do they provide any guesses about how water filtration reduces levels of THC, which is not water-soluble?
#11
Old 05-29-2005, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake4

To get any deeper, please clarify what component of the smoke you're interested in filtering. Tar? Carcinogens? Nicotine? Heat? Water obviously wins that last one.
Actually, I'd be interested in seeing any comparison studies done on any of the components.
#12
Old 05-30-2005, 12:43 AM
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Wait... are you saying bongs remove THC from the smoke?
#13
Old 05-30-2005, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna
Wait... are you saying bongs remove THC from the smoke?
I don't have any data for bongs particularly, but THC is slightly soluble in water. (0.28 g/100 mL at 23 C)

I don't think, though, that in the time it takes you to hit the bong that any appreciable amount would be removed. I eagerly await followup.
#14
Old 05-30-2005, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
Actually, I'd be interested in seeing any comparison studies done on any of the components.
Filters probably do pretty well for tar. Tar is sticky, and sticks to the fibers of the filter.

Tar isn't water-soluble, but it gets stuck to the surfaces of the hookah on it's way from the place where it's lit to your mouth.

Carcinogens, nicotine, and THC, for the most part, are not very water soluble either, so you're still getting all this stuff.

The link I posted mentions gasses like hydrogen cyanide that are possibly trapped by the water. For gasses, solubility goes up as the temperature of the liquid goes down, so fill your hookah from refrigerated water. This also cools the smoke more, obviously.

CC, if you want better filtration, look online for supplementary cigarette filters. Try putting one of those at the tip of the hookah hose for water+filter filtration.

Sorry I don't have anything super-factual or cite-worthy.


Re: THC getting lost to bong water, come on people, you've never heard of folks drinking the bong water to get high? Sure, they're probably pretty stupid, but not totally stupid.
#15
Old 05-31-2005, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake4
Re: THC getting lost to bong water, come on people, you've never heard of folks drinking the bong water to get high? Sure, they're probably pretty stupid, but not totally stupid.
Heard of it sure! But those were the folks that other folks looked at kinda funny.

I can't stand the funk when it spills, and there's no way in heck, I don't care how good the stuff was, that I'd ever actually swallow the stuff on purpose.
#16
Old 05-31-2005, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake4
Filters probably do pretty well for tar. Tar is sticky, and sticks to the fibers of the filter.

Tar isn't water-soluble, but it gets stuck to the surfaces of the hookah on it's way from the place where it's lit to your mouth.
::snip::
CC, if you want better filtration, look online for supplementary cigarette filters. Try putting one of those at the tip of the hookah hose for water+filter filtration.
Wouldn't it be better to run the smoke through the filter first so the tar won't be gunking up your hookah hoses as badly?
#17
Old 05-31-2005, 03:22 PM
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Ok, I have a very hard time believing that a water pipe will filter any signifigant amount of THC from the smoke. My knowledge comes from personal experience so take it with a grain of salt, but in my experience smoking from a water pipe is a more efficient way to do it. It could be a result of some other affect but I have tried a variety of experiments with regular pipes and water pipes and without fail the water pipe has provided more bang for my buck.
#18
Old 05-31-2005, 04:08 PM
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The OP, revised

I think that water soluble materials would more likely be filtered out using water than would fat soluble ones. I believe THC is the predominant ingredient in cannabis that is not filtered out by water in a water pipe - otherwise, why would people use this method to get high? And THC is definitely fat soluble. I don't know if it's water soluble at all. I also imagine that if one were to outfit a joint with a cigarette filter, the intoxicating material would get through to some extent. My original question, then, as refined by the Masses would be, How do water pipes and cigarette filters compare when it comes to straining out various components of smoke?
#19
Old 06-02-2005, 03:37 PM
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Having never smoked weed in my entire life, I find myself none the less highly interested by this thread.
#20
Old 06-02-2005, 04:55 PM
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I'm going to re-post a Q here that got shut down by the mods back around the time I first joined (seeing as we've drifted well away from the OP into THC territory [mere suspicion of which got the Q 86'ed before] and I pose/d the Q then and now as regards tobacco, which is honestly what I use the darn thing for):

I have a glass bowl one-hose shisha I use personally that I bought in the Gulf. It has a pressure valve for excess smoke & a translucent bowl, and I've never had any trouble adjusting water level to use it optimally.

Now, my ex-girlfriend bought be an opaque Indian one, metal, 4-hose, no valve. We simply haven't been able to get a decent head of smoke out of it, and part of my problem is I don't know A) how high the water should go in the bowl which is compounded by B) it's opaque... so I have trouble seeing how much should go in. Anyone have any hints on this? I suspect either a too much/little water problem or some sort of pressure problem. No leaks that I can detect (not counting multiple hoses). You can email me if you like.
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