In recent years, the popularity of electronic shisha, also known as hookah pens or e-hookahs, has surged as an alternative to traditional smoking. While both electronic shisha and smoking involve inhaling vapor or smoke, there are significant differences in their health implications. In this comparison, we’ll explore the health effects of electronic shisha versus smoking to help users make informed choices about their consumption habits.

Electronic shisha:

Electronic shisha devices heat flavored e-liquids, often containing nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavorings, to produce vapor that users inhale. Compared to smoking, electronic shisha eliminates the combustion process, which results in the inhalation of fewer harmful chemicals and toxins. However, it’s essential to consider the following health implications:

Reduced harmful chemicals: Unlike traditional smoking, electronic shisha does not involve burning tobacco, which produces harmful chemicals such as tar, carbon monoxide, and carcinogens. As a result, electronic shisha vapor generally contains fewer toxic substances, making it possibly less harmful to the respiratory system.

Nicotine exposure: Many electronic shisha e-liquids contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can have adverse health effects, including increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and addiction. While some users may opt for nicotine-free e-liquids, those containing nicotine still pose risks, particularly for young people and non-smokers.

Possible health risks: Despite the absence of combustion, electronic shisha vapor may still contain certain chemicals and toxins, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein, albeit at lower levels than traditional cigarette smoke. Long-term inhalation of these substances may still pose health risks, including respiratory irritation and inflammation.


Traditional smoking involves burning tobacco and inhaling the resulting smoke, which contains a complex mixture of harmful chemicals and carcinogens. Smoking is associated with numerous adverse health effects, including:

Increased risk of disease: Smoking is a leading cause of various serious health conditions, including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory infections. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can damage the lungs and cardiovascular system over time, leading to chronic health problems and decreased life expectancy.

Addiction and dependence: Nicotine addiction is a significant challenge for smokers, making it difficult for them to quit despite awareness of the associated health risks. Nicotine dependence can lead to withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit, further complicating cessation efforts.