Hitting up the hookah with friends is an increasing draw as fewer young people smoke cigarettes, but that doesn't mean such smokers are in the clear. In fact, they're inhaling quite a bit of toxicity.
A recent meta-analysis of pre-existing data led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has found that, "...compared with a single cigarette, one hookah session delivers approximately 125 times the smoke, 25 times the tar, 2.5 times the nicotine and 10 times the carbon monoxide."
Whether that's "better" or "worse" than smoking cigarettes is hard to say. A frequent cigarette smoker may smoke 20 cigarettes in a day, whereas a frequent hookahsmoker may participate in a few sessions per day.
See photos of people smoking hookah:
Study warns one hookah session delivers 25 times the tar of one cigarette
Male customers smoke shisha pipes inside the Haj Mirza traditional teahouse in the Nagshe Jahan bazaar in Isfahan, Iran, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Iran expects its economic growth to accelerate next year as the removal of sanctions under a nuclear agreement offsets a global slump in oil prices, a top aide to President Hassan Rouhani said. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A male customer smokes a shisha pipe inside the Haj Mirza traditional teahouse in the Nagshe Jahan bazaar in Isfahan, Iran, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Iran expects its economic growth to accelerate next year as the removal of sanctions under a nuclear agreement offsets a global slump in oil prices, a top aide to President Hassan Rouhani said. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
SHIRAZ, IRAN - MAY 29: A woman smokes a hookah while visiting a poetry calligraphy workshop on May 29, 2014 in Shiraz, Iran. Shiraz, celebrated for more than 2,000 years as the heartland of Persian culture, is known as the home of Iranian poetry and for its progressive attitudes and tolerance. Like all of Iran, this week Shiraz observes the 25th anniversary of the death and continued legacy of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic revolution. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
AT SEA, GREECE - AUGUST 31: A man Syrian man smokes Sheesha on the Blue Star ferry bound for Athens from Kos on August 31, 2015, Greece. Migrants from many parts of the Middle East and African nations continue to flood into Europe before heading from Athens, north to the Macedonian border. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - AUGUST 24: Palestinian girls smoke shisha pipes and drink coffee in Stars and Bucks coffee shop on August 24, 2011 in Ramallah, West Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will formally submit the application for Palestinian statehood to the 66th United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 20th. The Palestinians and the Israelis are taking part in global diplomatic lobbying to win support for their differing positions on statehood. The Palestinian bid is borne from two decades of on-and-off peace talks that have failed to produce a deal. The ultimate goal of the Palestinian Authority is to end Israeli occupation and to establish a sovereign and independent state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JOCELYNE ZABLIT A Lebanese woman smokes a narghile, or waterpipe, at a restaurant in downtown Beirut on May 25, 2009. In Lebanon, the anti-smoking lobby is barely a blip on the radar, the government cares little about the issue, so the Havanas are among the world's cheapest here, cigarettes are free of punitive pricing and health warnings are barely visible on the side of packs. Health professionals say the number of smokers in Lebanon is among the highest in the region and cancer-related illnesses directly linked to tobacco are rising at a rapid rate. Most worrisome is a growing trend of narghile smokers, especially among teenagers who wrongly believe it is less harmful to their health than cigarettes, experts say. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH BARRAK (Photo credit should read JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images)
Alfonso Ramirez tests one of his hookah creations at Phoenicia restaurant in Glendale, May 15, 2009. Given the nickname Abo Salem by his coÂworkers at the Lebanese restaurant (it is a common name in Lebanon), Ramirez, a native of Mexico, has been working in the U.S. for 10 years and become known for his inventive creations of tobacco and fruit mixtures used in hookah water pipes. Over the years, he has experimented with many mixtures and discovered that hollowed out apples, filled with a tobacco and fruit mixture, makes for the best flavor, but he often experiments with more exotic fruit like watermelon, mango and papaya, saying that a banana hookah is in the works. (Photo by Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Shisha Smoker, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Photo by Marka/UIG via Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Though comparisons aren't exact, the data comes at time when hookah's popularity has grown.
According to a write-up of the findings, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that, for the first time in history, past 30-day use ofhookah tobacco was higher than past 30-day use of cigarettes among U.S. high school students."