Tobacco, Cannabis, Hookah and E-cigarettes

Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada. Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are linked to cancer, heart disease and several other diseases. The City of Hamilton provides information about:

The City of Hamilton also provides clinics and programs for people who wish to quit smoking.  

Poster to promote quitting smoking

All smoke is harmful, whether it comes from tobacco, cannabis (marijuana) or from a hookah pipe (waterpipe); smoke is smoke. While it is well known that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, many are not aware of the health risks associated with exposure to smoke from cannabis or a hookah pipe. Just like tobacco, both produce second-hand smoke.


Smoke from cannabis (marijuana) has been shown to have many of the same toxic chemicals as tobacco such as fine particles, heavy metals and carbon monoxide. Breathing in second-hand cannabis smoke could negatively affect the health of those exposed.


A hookah or waterpipe is a device used to smoke tobacco and herbal products called shisha. Both tobacco and herbal shisha can produce toxic chemicals.   The charcoal used to heat the shisha produces very high levels of carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer causing chemicals.


Even though electronic cigarettes may be less harmful than tobacco, it doesn’t mean they are safe.  If you don’t smoke, don’t vape.