Deconstructing the Particulate Component of Waterpipe Tobacco Smoke
Waterpipe smoking has increased in popularity over the last several decades especially among college students. Contrary to popular belief, waterpipe tobacco smoke (WTS) causes a significant health risk to users because of the toxicant content and physical properties of the smoke. Three hundred toxicant compounds have been found and the particles produced are so small that they penetrate deep into the lungs causing adverse health effects. However, there is minimal data examining the physical properties of WTS and the data that has been collected does not provide consistent results.
This project aims to consistently characterize the size and concentration of particles produced in a typical waterpipe smoking session. Charcoal, glycerol, flavorant, and shisha will all be examined individually to determine how each of these components contributes to the particulate matter produced. Preliminary data suggest that charcoal produces extremely small particles with an average diameter around 34 nm, while glycerol, flavorant, and shisha all produce slightly larger, which have an average size of 165 nm.