In a scientific first, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, analyzed the dangers of smoking hookah via waterpipe and concluded that it might be the most dangerous way to smoke. Researchers custom-built a testing apparatus and found that one draw from a hookah waterpipe can contain as many noxious substances as smoking an entire cigarette. Both nicotine-free herbal mixtures and regular smoke were tested on the pipe and researchers observed that the herbal mixture actually had higher levels of toxins than the regular smoke. Study author Veronique Perraud, a UCI assistant project scientist in the Department of Chemistry, said in the press release that “one of the big myths about hookah usage is that the water in the bowl actually filters out the toxic chemicals, providing a shield for the smoker. In the study, we show that this is not the case.” A single breath of hookah inhalation could contain harmful chemicals, like nicotine, as well as carcinogens, like benzine, and a significant amount of carbon dioxide, mostly from the charcoal burning to heat the waterpipe. The study was published in science journal Aerosol Science and Technology.