Four airmen in the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in the Persian Gulf suffered from “light headedness, nausea, headaches, and fainting” after an apparent hookah smoking session.
“Although we’re not sure yet that hookah [smoking] caused the problems, we can’t take a chance that any more crewmembers will become so sick,” said Col. Marilyn Kott, commander of the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group. “So, we’ve implemented a prohibition on hookahs until the results of the hookah testing definitively show whether that was our problem.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) one hour smoking the hookah is comparable to smoking 100-200 cigarettes.
Additional concerns are that terrorists could poison U.S. airmen by tainting the tobacco. Air Force protection specialists point out that lack of processing and packaging standards for the tobacco could be a security concern. “Any food, water, or other material ingested into your body can be exploited by an enemy to disable or kill you,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Hugg, the wing’s force protection cell chief.
From the Air Force Times