Young people need to be made aware of the negative impact of hookah smoking on their health, including the increased risk for developing oral cancer. A typical hookah session can last up to one hour, with smokers taking long, deep breaths, so that the smoke inhaled can equal 100 cigarettes or more, according to a 2005 study by the World Health Organization. Therefore, it is critical that hookah smokers stop immediately and practice preventive measures against oral cancer.
Individuals should routinely perform simple oral self-exams of their mouth in order to help detect early changes before they become harmful. Most oral cancers start as a very small white or red spot — typically the size of a sesame seed. Everyday trauma, such as cheek biting, a sharp tooth or a pizza burn causes the majority of these spots in the mouth. Unhealthy habits, such as excessive alcohol intake and/or smoking, put individuals at greater risk for oral cancer, so changes in the mouth have a greater likelihood of showing the first signs of an oral cancer.