What’s a hookah?

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The hookah, a water pipe invented in India in the 17th century, has become popular in the Middle East, Europe, North America, and South Africa. It was created to reduce the negative effects of tobacco smoke and uses a water vessel to filter smoke. Hookah tobacco is often sweetened and comes in different strengths, but research suggests it may not be significantly safer than other tobacco products.

A hookah is a single or multi-stemmed water pipe that originated in India around the end of the 17th century. It has become extremely popular throughout the Middle East, where it is most often called a shisha or hookah. Today, smoking with one of these devices is also popular in Europe, North America and South Africa, especially in Middle Eastern themed hookah bars.

The hookah was invented by the doctor Hakin Abul Fath in an attempt to reduce the negative effects of tobacco smoke. It consists of a water vessel, often made of glass, connected by a tube or body to the bowl at the top. The tobacco is placed in the bowl and covered with burning charcoal. The smoke is sucked in through a pipe that leads from the water bowl. Hot air is drawn through the tobacco and the resulting smoke is filtered through water before the smoker inhales it.

The tobacco typically smoked in a hookah differs from that smoked in a traditional pipe. It is often sweetened with honey, molasses, fruit and/or aromatic oils. There is a large variety of tastes, including mixed tastes. They also come in different tobacco strengths. Some blends are tobacco-free.

Although the pipe originated in India, hookah smoking was not always widespread in the country, being confined to rural areas until very recently. Rather, it has become a tradition of the countries of the Arab world and surrounding countries. Over the past decade or so, hookah bars have become trendy among young people in countries all over the world.

While hookah was thought to be healthier than other ways of smoking tobacco, research suggests it isn’t significantly safer. It is typically smoked for 20-80 minutes, and one study found that a 45-minute session provided approximately 5-10% more carbon dioxide and tar than a pack of cigarettes. However, the effects of hookah smoking and its comparison with other methods of tobacco consumption are not well understood and more studies are needed before any conclusive statements can be made.

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