Up in Trendy Smoke: Hookah Myths Debunked LiveScience
According to the above article, hookah smoke (more commonly known as a "shisha" or "hubbly-bubbly" in South Africa) is potentially just as bad for you, if not worse, than cigarette smoke.
I don't know how many times I've argued with people who produce this disgusting contraption at dinner parties as an alternative to dessert. Every time I decline to partake, I hear "What's wrong with it? It's not as bad as cigarettes... the water filters out all the bad stuff."
And every time I give the same response: "How can inhaling any particulate matter be good for you?"
I've never received a satisfactory answer to that question, but I was almost always dismissed as a crackpot or a square at that point.
Finally, I have something to back it up. I may not win any such arguments in future either, but at least I'm secure in the knowledge that I was right all along.