Hookah By: Lindsay EthertonFrom the start of our youth we’ve always been told, “don’t smoke.”
“Smoking causes cancer.”
“Do you want your lungs to look like this?!”
All of this is said with a health teacher standing sternly in the front of the class, holding a jar with a lung inside, floating aimlessly around with tar caked around it. Yet, as students grow older, a few will experiment with disregarding what former health teachers tried warning us about.
In the past, there were cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff; these were the main “talking” points teachers were concerned with when it came to health risks. Hookah was never in the equation.
But as the popularity of hookah increases, so does the need to figure out exactly why this is an illegal drug in Indiana for people under the age of 21.
Hookah has been around for centuries though, and more recently has became an underground social fad in the United States; nonsmokers, and/or people who are not informed on what a hookah is, see it as equipment used for smoking marijuana (something like a “bong.”)
However hookah, itself, originated in India from a wooden stem and a coconut base. This design was based on strictly smoking opium and hashish. It quickly made it’s way through the Persian Kingdom, which included the entire Middle Eastern and Middle Asia countries. Once it worked it’s way to Iran, they used a native wet tobacco called Tombeik; it would be burned with coals to give a strong flavoring.
It was only about 500 years ago when Hookah was introduced to Turkey, but only for the upper class. The surge of popularity gave it the chance to be nearly reinvented. Wooden stems were changed to brass or glass, and the base went from coconut to glass designs -- what hookah users are more familiar with today.
The Turkish also toyed with the “lounge” experience. They combined both the coffee shop environment and hookah smoking, and typically only men were seen in these shops to discuss politics and business. They treated a hookah waiter like a chef, being that the Turkish saw it as a form of art.
From Turkey the popularity spread to Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Morocco. After the 60’s drug craze took it’s toll, hookah slipped into the United States and Europe, gaining more of a reputation for itself.
From the time that the Turkish got their hands on the design, it only had small modification changes to give it the look we know today.
In today’s layout of a hookah, it has a glass base which is filled with water. A brass, metal, or glass stem is attached to the base, the bowl in which the shisha is placed in sits at the top with coals cooking it. A hose, which is a slender tube for the smoke to travel through is attached to the stem of the hookah.
Inhaling through the hose, air is pulled through the coal and into the bowl. Once there, it burns the tobacco, producing smoke. Smoke passes through the stem and into the water base. It bubbles up in the base and smoke builds up and channels through the hose. The process repeats for the entire smoke session.
So are cigarettes and hookah comparable? Well, sort of.
In general, smoking tobacco is never healthy for someone to practice. Cigarettes, or hookah, can still give an individual cancer, heart disease, emphysema, nicotine addiction and any other disease smoking causes.
“Anytime you put a foreign substance into your body you’re going to have an unbeneficial outcome from it,” anatomy/biology teacher Nick Wiese said. While Wiese admitted he didn’t know specifics on hookah, he did clarify that, “smoke isn’t meant to be put into your body, and health risks would be the same as a cigarette when smoking hookah.”
Many critics have debated of the lesser of two evils. While 5,000 chemicals have been identified in cigarettes, only about 140 have been identified in shisha. Also, a medical team in Pakistan found that shisha smoke can be much less carcinogenic and radioactive than cigarette smoke.
On the contrary Dr. Dale Lowell from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. says it is worse due to the fact that hookah smokers are inhaling more carbon monoxide than cigarette smokers. It also delivers just much nicotine as cigarettes, causes same risks with secondhand smoke, and the water doesn’t filter out anything.
Greater Clark County’s safety/truant officer Chris Ralston has attended meetings were hookah was being mentioned as an up incoming thing.
“I have talked to a few students that have tried it that were underaged,” Ralston said. “Students should take into consideration about the health risks that hookah has; it is still smoking. When at hookah lounges, you do not know exactly what shisha blends they put together, unlike cigarettes that have to go through regular inspection checks to follow certain guidelines.”
Ralston also mentioned how over the past few years hookah has become increasingly popular, or students have been “jumping on the bandwagon.”
Teachers in Jeff High have overheard conversations that students have had about it, even going as far as seeing pictures posted on social media Web sites. But just as common as smoking cigarettes, nobody really pays enough attention to the open conversations to be concerned on whether the students are of age.
Hookah may be a way to enjoy a night with some friends, but let’s not forget the law doesn't change for minors. An individual must be 18 to smoke hookah in the state of Kentucky, and it raises to 21 in Indiana. By all means this activity isn’t for everyone and shouldn’t be especially for people underage.
Years in the future the next generation of health teachers could be displaying several jars discussing the effects of not only cigarettes, but educating students on what other drugs are and precautions we should take when we are approached with not only the name but the substance itself if the situation ever came into our lives. Hopefully, getting more health education than copying definitions from a text book and told, "don't smoke." *********************************************************
Chris Koppen, 11 All About the Ink By:Josie Bales & Lauryn Handley
If you don’t have “snapbacks and tattoos” you might not get along well with rapper Wiz Khalifa. In his Star Power mixtape song “Ink My Whole Body”, Khalifa boasts he has “got so many tats, you can’t even count ‘em up/ In the shop every week, I can’t seem to get enough.”
Why wouldn’t you want to step up and be inked like the celebrities and rap stars that the media puts in your face? But slow your role and pause your rap game flow; you’ll catch a glimpse of a different feeling about being “inked up” around Jeff High.
It often comes to adults seeing teenagers trying to act older than they actually are, and view it as somewhat vulgar, or mentally disturbing. Glancing into the past of the older people in our location, it seems that they were taught different morals in their young life, causing them to be more judgemental. Adults seem to stick with the idea of students getting tattoos without purpose, but rather for the simple fact of fitting in.
It’s a common saying that, “stereotypes are bad,” and you should “never judge anyone,” but some find it hard not to be distracted with people covered in tattoos. The “thug life” chose them though, so one can’t be petty and judge.
According to students, being “tatted” is the cool thing to do… for now.
But what about when they’re old news? You can’t get rid of those old school tattoos. Though, some swear that they put a lot of thought into something with symbolic meaning for their ink, but people still put offensive labels on those who made the decisions to get tattoos.
Yet, taking a step back to look through the teenage students of Jeffersonville High School’s eyes gives a whole new perspective to the common knowledge. It’s a brand new level of biased thinking when people attempt to understand the meanings and reasons for our younger side of society to overwhelm themselves in permanently inked tattoos.
Adults seem to continue to try to beat into teenagers heads the negative influences that tattoos can be to minors. Tattoos may cause interference with upsetting their parents, affecting job interviews and it may be a struggle to find someone to go with them to get the tattoo at a young age.
Though some may see tattooed people as “trashy”, Jeff High students use another word: “original”.
The students add a new definition to the word by spinning the heads of those opposing and providing examples of students who have tattoos with background meanings -- although it might not follow the adults of previous generation’s traditional high school student’s expectations.
Senior Nick Vanhorn was not quite 16 when he made his decision to get a tattoo that would stay with him forever.
“I got my parents’ names tatted across my chest, with my momma closest to my heart and my pops on the other side,” Vanhorn said. “Then, my favorite one is my tattoo for my little brother and it’s like he’s ‘under my wing.’”
Of course, only being 15 at the time meant that a legal guardian had to sign and accompany Vanhorn. However despite the permanent ink, some of his family seemed at ease with his decision--but not everyone.
“My mom went with me to get all of them,” Vanhorn said. “My pops, on the other hand, almost killed me, and my grandma said she wanted to cut them off with a knife.”
Another senior who made the same decision about getting a tattoo was Haley O’Kelly, who now sports four different tattoos.
“The first one I got was an owl for my great grandmother,” O’Kelly said. “The second were my paintbrushes that I have on my arm. The third was on my back of a tiger --the same one my mother has. Lastly, I have a shamrock to represent my Irish heritage.”
O’Kelly firmly believes that she will never regret her tattoos because they each mean something to her.
Senior Nick Mudd agrees with O’Kelly’s sentiments,
“ I have two really big tattoos; they’re on my arm and rib cage,” Mudd said. “I know that I will never regret them, ever.”
One of the biggest concerns about getting a tattoo is the negative influence they may have on future careers.
“They haven’t affected any job interviews because they do not show,” Mudd said. “All you have to do is wear a suit shirt, a tie, and look nice and they will never know”
In previous generations being “tatted” wasn’t nearly as common in comparison to today’s standards. It also wasn’t widely accepted. But for today, some teachers like math teacher Teresa Piazza, don’t have a huge opinion on them either way.
“ I’ve just never had any interest in them,” Piazza said. “I mean I don’t really care or judge anyone with tattoos. I think it depends on how old you are, and what the tattoos are.”
When asked how many people had tattoos when she was younger, the answer might shock some: “None. Only old men had tattoos.”
So what would be an ideal age for a tattoo, according to Piazza?
“Honestly, after 21,” Piazza said. “Because when you’re younger you change your mind all the time about things, and I know many people, from my own kids when they started young and as they got older, they regret them”
As time goes on and generations change, the standards and opinions of people seem to be influenced by not only what is put in front of them, but also what is behind them.
With a first glance, someone could be quick to say tattoos are gross. But if one hears that it has a connection to someone’s past and their life story, it raises attention in the tattoo awareness region. Older people from past generations look at the subject with a different perspective than the students, because they have experienced the change that a person goes through in a lifetime.However once you step into the art of the permanent ink game, there is no turning back, and most of the students of Jeffersonville High School seem to be fine with this. They want to continue marching forward with their originality and pride at hand, while simultaneously showing of their confidence within their heartfelt tattoos and the hopes of no regrets.