Estimating annual air emissions from nargyla water pipes in cafés and restaurants using Monte Carlo analysis

  • B. Freeman
  • B. Gharabaghi
  • J. Thé
Original Paper


Smoking sheesha with a nargyla water pipe is a popular pastime in many Arab countries and increasingly in use around the world. The process uses charcoal to heat flavored tobacco which is then drawn through a water filter by the user. Emissions come primarily from the combustion of the charcoal as well as the flavored tobacco. Many studies have been conducted to determine the health effects on users, but no studies have looked at the cumulative effect of burning charcoal in cafés and restaurants on the overall national emissions inventory and carbon footprint. This presentation looks at the combined generation of greenhouse gases and hazardous air pollutants using previous studies and published emission factors to provide annual estimates for inclusion into national emission inventory reports using Monte Carlo analysis to account for uncertainty and variance in input parameters. As an example, the annual emissions from cafés and restaurants in Kuwait were calculated using the presented methods. The results of the example showed that selecting the underlying distribution for the emission factors significantly impacted the annual totals. Additionally, the resulting totals of emissions from nargyla smoking represent a significant portion (in the case of nitrous oxide, over 50%) of the total emissions inventory when compared with official totals submitted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Water pipe Emission inventory Indoor air quality Charcoal Monte Carlo analysis Central Limit Theorem Greenhouse gases 



The authors would also like to acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) and Lakes Environmental Software.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Lakes EnvironmentalWaterlooCanada

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