Doctor warns that increasingly popular hookah bars don't offer safer smoking.
A trendy new type of hangout is popping up like wildfire across Florida: hookah bars.
"We've tried out like three. I like them just because they like, just calm you down. They have strawberry kiwi, they have every flavor you can imagine," said David Rodriguez, a smoker who says he prefers hookahs to cigarettes.
While inhaling flavored smoke may be enjoyable for some, there are some health risks to be considered.
"It's safer than cigarettes, I'll tell you that. With all the stuff in cigarettes, it's more soothing to me without all the nicotine and rat poison and bad stuff," said Rodriguez.
According to Dr. Robert Green with the Palm Beach Cancer Institute, that just doesn't make sense.
Dr. Green wants to clear the air about the health dangers faced every time someone gets "hookah'd up".
"There is evidence that hookah smoke is harmful in the same ways that cigarette smoke is harmful," said Dr. Green.
Many of the same dangerous chemicals are present in the smoke, and since the bars promote social smoking, the harmful effects of inhaling are stretched out over a greater period of time.
"We now know that there is a high risk from second hand smoke related to cigarettes. My concern is people who are spending an extensive amount of time in an environment where there is smoke like this, that does pose a real risk for their health," said Dr. Green.
Some believe the smoke is less harmful, since it's filtered through water.
"There is no evidence that the smoke passing through water filters it or removes any of the toxins," said Dr. Green.
Even with warnings from health professionals, some smokers just don't want to clear the air.
"I would say life is too short. I would still probably smoke it anyways," said Rodriguez.