New York, Aug 13: While the popularity of hookah (tobacco pipe) has increased in recent years, researchers say it may be more dangerous than other forms of smoking tobacco.

Using a custom-built testing device, the researchers analysed emissions during a typical hookah session and found that one draw from a pipe contained as many noxious substances as a cigarette.

Hookah mainstream smoke, which is directly inhaled, has many toxic and harmful chemicals, like nicotine that can lead to tobacco addiction, irritating carbonyl compounds, and benzine, a known carcinogen,” said study lead author Veronique Perraud from University of California.

“Due to the greater volume inhaled in every puff and the longer duration of a smoking session, the hookah often delivers a higher dose of those chemicals to the smoker,” Perraud said.

It also produced large quantity of carbon monoxide, mainly from the burning of charcoal to heat the tobacco or herbal mixture in its bowl. The study, published in journal Aerosol Science and Technology, also referred to several cases of carbon monoxide intoxication.

In addition to testing ordinary tobacco, the group also studied a nicotine-free herbal mixture, marketed as a healthier alternative, and discovered that it produced even higher levels of toxic gases.

The study is the first to characterise ultra-fine particles (with a diameter smaller than 100 nanometers) in the inhaled smoke.

The researchers measured the chemical composition of gases and solids emitted during a hookah session in real time. “Through our technique of testing emissions in the beginning, midpoint and end of a smoking session, we were able to show that a smoker is exposed to a higher quantity of ultra-fine particles during the first 10 minutes compared with the rest of the session,” she said.

According to the study, these miniscule particles can pose significant health risks by making their way deep into the pulmonary system and by readily crossing the blood-brain barrier.

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Ranchi, Oct 18: Having lost nine successive tosses in Asia, an exasperated South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won't mind sending "someone else" in his place for the toss of the coin in the third and final Test against India, beginning here Saturday.

South Africa have struggled in Indian conditions and not winning the toss in the first two Tests has only made things tougher for them. Opting to bat in Visakhapatnam and Pune, India put up 500-plus totals to virtually bat the visitors out of the game.

"We really want to make sure that we compete with this team in their own conditions. We have done it in stages in the first Test. So, hoping that we can start with the toss tomorrow.

"Probably we will change... send someone else to the toss tomorrow. I can give you that... because my records so far has not been great," said du Plessis, in a lighter vein, on the eve of the game.

Du Plesiss said "anything is possible" if his side get to bat first.

"If you put big runs in the first innings, that's where it need to stop. Then anything from there is possible. Hopefully that will unfold in the next couple of days and hopefully we can put some runs on.

"The pitch looks a little bit drier and crustier so first innings runs will be vital and then anything from there is possible in the second innings," the South African skipper added.