With Hookah lounges popping up in Lincoln and Omaha, there is growing concern about the perceived "safety" of this alternative to cigarettes. According to Michael Huckabee, professor and director of the physican assistance program at UNMC, "studies show the risks are typically the same as smoking cigarettes as the water does not filter out the toxins in the smoke. A hookah smoker usually takes a deeper pull on the pipe (a “hit”), inhaling higher concentrations of smoke and toxins compared to smoking a cigarette." Additional health risks include the method of sharing the pipe with other hookah smokers. For more on Huckabee's article, originally posted on Live Well Nebraska, on the dangers of hookah smoking, CLICK HERE.