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Health assessment of tobacco products

“Smoking endangers your health” and similar phrases have been well known to smokers for years. The assessment of the impact and risks of tobacco products and their consumption is part of the remit of BfR.

Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco

The reviews of BfR focus on additives in cigarettes and other products such as cigars or pipe tobacco.

Water pipes

BfR also reviews water pipes which have become increasingly popular over the last years. They are also known as oriental tobacco pipes and – depending on the country of origin - under the name of shisha, boory, narghile, arghile, hookha, goza, or hubble-bubble.

Since an increasing number of adolescents smoke water pipes, BfR has again analysed the health risks and determined that the nicotine concentration in blood increases when smoking water pipes in a similar way as after cigarette consumption.

In addition, water pipe smoke contains the same harmful and potentially addictive substances (nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) as cigarette smoke.

Legal bases

Provisional tobacco act


Other documents

Date Title Size
BfR Updated Health Assessment No. 011/2009,
Health and addiction risks associated with water pipes 24.8 KB


Press releases

Date Title Keywords
Humectants in water pipe tobacco increase health risk
Water pipes: Each puff carries a risk
Water pipes: Not a harmless alternative to cigarettes cigarettes