What Is a Hookah?

Hookahs are typically used devices to smoke flavorful tobacco. A hookah features a water basin, which purifies the smoke prior to inhalation. The source of hookahs is in the Middle East, where one can still find the best quality hookahs in the world. Hookahs are built in a straightforward way with simple components.

Components

Basically, smoke generated from the burning tobacco is passed down through the body, the end of which is submerged in the water jar. The smokes comes out of the base of the body and is purified by the water and stored in air chamber above the water. One more positive side effect of the smoke passing through the water is that it is cooled down to a temperature more comfortable for the lungs. At the top left section of the water jar in this diagram is the hose. The size of the hose is usually more than a meter. When the smoker puffs on the hose, the purified smoke exits the air chamber and is inhaled by the smoker from the hose. The smoke blown out by the smoker is clean, thick and fragrant. Normally, people smoke hookah while sitting in groups with their close friends on family enjoying their company.

What Do You Smoke Out of a Hookah?

Traditionally hookahs are used to smoke shisha, which is flavored tobacco. Shisha, nowadays contain some or all of the following substances: tobacco, treacle (uncrystallized syrup produced in refining sugar), honey, sugar, molasses, glycerin, nicotine, dried fruit and distilled water.

Shisha is usually fruit flavor based. However offshoots of fruity flavors are now rising in popularity among the smokers and producers alike. These flavors include Peaches ‘n Cream or Banana split, and many others.

Nowadays, there is a wide array of shisha flavors available. Unique flavors are made because essentially every ingredient can be mixed in dried, tobacco, glycerin and sweetener.

The Origin of Hookahs

The word huqqa is an indian word, which is called “hookah” in English. Abul-Fath Gilani who was a Persian physician manufactured the first hookah in the 1500’s. After growing occupied with the health risks of smoking, he developed a system where he passed the smoke through a water basin to be able to ‘purify’ it. It is contended, though, that the hookah already existed in other parts of Persia, so the exact origin is unclear. Regardless, the popularity of the hookah grew through India and Pakistan, westward into Iran, Turkey, and Lebanon. When the hookah reached Turkey, its fame increased among the Turkish elite, and it quickly spread through Lebanon and Syria to the rest of the Middle East and into northern Africa. It is now gaining popularity among the rest of the globe.

As the hookah reached different countries, it picked up various names.

Nargile (also pronounced Argilee) – Mainly used in Mediterranean nations

Narguile – used in Spain

Lula (or lulava) – used in Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina

Sheesha – used by countries in Northern Africa from Morocco to Egypt, and the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf including Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia

Qalyan – used in Iran

Karim Khan – used in Russia, Belarus

Chillim – used in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan

Huqqa – used in India and Pakistan

Gudugudaa – used in Maldives

Marra Pipe – used in the UK

Where Can I Purchase A Hookah?

Hookahs can be bought in physical stores as well as from online shops. Hookah shops have grown with the rise in popularity of hookah bars across the U.S. since the turn of the century. People who live in the more populated towns can easily find a hookah shop near them. Unlike much of the Mediterranean nations and Persian Gulf, hookahs have not made their way into the lives of everyday U.S. citizens.

If you are not able to find a hookah shop or you prefer to shop from the ease of your home then you can purchase a hookah on the Internet.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Smoking Hookah?

Whether smoking hookah is less hazardous than cigarette smoking is still not known. People who are in favor of smoking hookah express that the smoke that comes from hookah is cleaner because it is purified through water and that the temperature of the smoke is also moderate. Critics say that hookah smoke contains just as many toxic compounds including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and cancer-causing chemicals. Another factor is that a hookah session can last as long as 1 hour and sometimes even longer whereas a cigarette goes for only 3-4 minutes. On the other hand hookah is not as addictive as cigarettes. People smoke hookah once in one week or bi weekly for fun whereas a cigarette smoker smokes cigarettes each day, several times.

Hookah is becoming popular all over the globe. Why don’t you also become a part of this raging hookah trend!

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