El Cajon’s City Council’s agenda this Tuesday includes a proposal by Councilman Kendrick to regulate electronic cigarettes and hookahs. Both products contain nicotine and the CDC reports that the number of teens using e-cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012.
A Spring Valley teen passed out and was hospitalized last week with carbon monoxide poisoning from a hookah.
A 2005 report by the World Health Organization documented potential health hazards from hookahs, noting that in a typical 20-80 minute hookah session produces about as much smoke as the amount received from smoking 100 cigarettes.”
WHO also found that smoke from hookahs contain high levels of toxic compounds including heavy metals, carbon monoxide, and cancer-causing chemicals. Hookahs pose the added risk of diseases such as hepatitis or tubuerculosis.
But hookah smoking is a popular pastime among El Cajon’s many Middle Eastern immigrants, so the proposal is likely to generate controversy.
El Cajon currently has one of the strictest anti-smoking ordinances in California, banning cigarette smoking in all public places.