HHS Looking for Hookah Smoking Machine

Elizabeth Harrington | August 9, 2013 | 11:16am EDT
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The Shishavac® bills itself as an innovative, world-class appliance that every hookah aficionado loves to own.

(CNSNews.com) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is interested in buying a “Shisa smoke machine.”  The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will use it for studies that compare hookah and cigarette smoke.

“The purpose of this contract is Purchase of Shisha smoke machine and LX1 cigarette smoke machine,” the NIH, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a notice on Aug. 2.

“With the purchase of a smoke machine, NCI will do the comparison of Hookah and cigarette smoke condensates (CSC) on DNA Methylation, the Histone Code, and Global Gene Expression, comparison of Hookah and CSC on microRNA Expression, and comparison of Hookah and Cigarette Smoke on Stem Cell Gene Expression and Malignant Phenotype of Lung Cancer Cells,” the notice said.

The machine “replicates water-pipe smoking” and can trap nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide to be analyzed to “to better understand exposure to individuals,” the NIH said.

The agency said the machine will allow them to monitor individuals with a “larger puff range” than traditional smoke machines, with exhales up to 8 seconds.

“Use of the Shisha Smoker can provide fundamental insights on effects of hookah smoke to human beings,” the NIH said.

The NIH notes that it is not obligated to purchase a machine from the notice, but is seeking feedback from small businesses for more information.

The notice is “for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the National Cancer Institute,” they said.

“Hookah and Shisha Central” sells a “Shishavac,” a hookah preparation system, for $299.99.

“The Shishavac® is an innovative, world-class appliance that every hookah aficionado loves to own,” the company says.  “This designer, multi-tasking machine allows you to effortlessly start your hookah in seconds, burn natural hookah charcoal neatly and safely and most importantly, effectively clean your hookah hose, which means a cleaner, more fulfilling smoke.”

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