Different people enjoy tobacco in various ways. Some love the simplicity of cigarettes, others love the elegant look of a pipe or the macho image of rolled cigar. Then, the hookah. Hookah is getting wildly popular in the US now because it is safer than cigarette, tobacco or pipe smoking. Hookah bars are popping like mushrooms all over. More and more people begin to discover this amazing way to smoke tobacco.
Hookah versus Bong
Many newcomers may mistake a hookah for a bong. This misidentification is not surprising because bong and hookah both work in the same principle—smoke passing through water before it is taken in by the user. However, several aspects differentiate bong from a hookah. The biggest difference between the two is that the bong is used for consuming cannabis, while the hookah is made for tobacco.
The hookah has many parts. The topmost part is the charcoal, which is just a little above a small bowl where the tobacco mixture is placed. The bowl connects to the stem, which is a long tube where the smoke passes through. Just below the stem is the vase. The vase is half filled with water. Connected to the opposite sides of the vase are the valve and the hose adaptor. The adaptor connects one end of the hose to the vase. The other end of the hose is where the user sucks the smoke.
Using the Hookah to Smoke
The hookah uses a different approach in how smoke from tobacco is inhaled. First, instead of using dried tobacco like in cigarettes, hookah uses a mixture of thirty percent tobacco and seventy percent molasses and various flavorings. This mixture is called shisha.
Second, in hookah use, the tobacco is merely heated, not burned. The user places the shisha in the bowl and covers it with a tin foil. Then, he places a piece of lit charcoal on top of the foil. The charcoal heats up the tobacco mixture until it begins to release smoke. Now the hookah user is ready to suck on the hose connected to the base.
When someone sucks on the hose, the pressure it creates drags the smoke from the bowl through the stem until it reaches the end of the stem, which is underwater. As the smoke enters the water, it will create a nice gurgling sound. The smoke rises on the water and is sucked into the hose and finally into the mouth of the user.
Hookah versus Cigarettes
There are several reasons why using the hookah is safer compared to cigarette smoking. First, the hookah filters and cools the tobacco smoke before it enters into the user’s body. According to several researches, much of the lung damage that is attributed to cigarette smoking is because of the heat of the smoke entering the lungs.
Second, because the tobacco used in the shisha mixture is only thirty percent, the amount of nicotine and tar is dramatically lower than in cigarettes.
Using the hookah to enjoy tobacco is becoming a fad in the US and in other countries. Some people may shy away from it because of its likeness to the bong, which is used for cannabis. However, hookah use is legal. Understanding how the hookah works is important for people who are planning to buy a piece.