Hookah. The English call it pipe (pronounced páip), “pipa” in Spanish, and the islanders of Cabaiguán and many places in Cuba call it hookah.


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Hookah tobacco
  • 3 Steps to prepare the hookah
  • 4 Tips and tricks
  • 5 Smoking is harmful
    • 1 Results
    • 2 Risk behavior
  • 6 Other data
  • 7 Sources


The shisha (Hookah, hookah, hookah) has a long and interesting history. The pipe smoking habit is said to have started in India about five hundred years ago. Its beginnings were primitive, using coconut shells instead of glass. The arghile is a widespread social phenomenon throughout of the world, having more influence and number of users in the East. It is used by millions of people daily, without discriminating sex, race or religion.

The shisha smoker is usually a patient, intelligent and educated person, who takes this moment to chat and think deeply about different aspects of daily life, accompanied by family and friends, who like a pleasant chat, always accompanied by a good tea. oriental or good coffee.

In recent years, Hookah Bars have proliferated in the West, offering the opportunity to enjoy a hookah. Cities like London , Paris , Los Angeles , etc. They host a large number of fans of this interesting hobby. It is usual to find in bars and tea shops throughout the world these fans playing cards, backgamon and dominoes, chatting for hours and letting themselves be carried away by the fruity and delicious aromas that the shishas offer.

Hookah tobacco

The tobacco smoked in a hookah is not similar to the tobacco that we find in cigarettes, cigars or bites for rolling. Tobacco is known as Mu’essel or Molasses, it is made up of fine tobacco leaves, washed many times to make it softer, mixed with honey or derivatives thereof, as well as a substance that will provide flavor and smell to our tobacco. Hookah smoking provides a soft, inspiring and totally different feeling.

You can find a wide variety of brands and flavors, which can range from 2 apples, the most popular, to flavors such as cherry , grape , melon , watermelon , and even coca cola .

A smoking session can vary with the quality of tobacco, charcoal, and the number of people who smoke, but can range from half an hour to approximately two hours.

Steps to prepare the hookah


  1. Fill the base with water, approximately two or three centimeters above the tube. This is essential for the smoke to leak and make the characteristic bubbles.
  2. Assemble the pipe, that is, introduce the metal part into the glass checking that there are no gaps or air inlets.
  3. Put the hose in place, also taking care that there are no air inlets. It is important that there are no air inlets so that when the coal is pulled through the hose it combusts properly and heats the tobacco without burning it.
  4. Finally, place an adequate amount of tobacco, previously separated or crumbled, in the clayor saucepan . Do not put too much pressure on the tobacco, or put a lot of it because there must be room for air to enter and for the coal to heat properly.
  5. Place a foil or foil sheet; adjust so that it is tight. You can put two if the aluminum is not of good quality. Then open the holes, a wide center hole and a large number of finer holes.
  6. Finally light the coal; if it is natural, it can be put on a fire stove or ceramic hob; if it is fast ignition, just bring it close to a flame and wait until it is red hot. Then place on the aluminum foil.

Tricks and tips

  1. Store the tobacco in the fridge, in hot times to keep it longer.
  2. Put ice on the base, for a refreshing effect on smoking.
  3. Mix colored drinks (Rives, liqueurs like mint, apple) to try new flavors and give a curious effect to your hookah.
  4. Try using juices mixed with water, to smoke with tobacco of the same flavor. For example, orange tobacco and orange juice in the base.
  5. Changing the water in the hookah every time it is smoked will prolong its life and the taste will be much better.
  6. Open as many holes in the foil, so that the charcoal heats better.
  7. Place the charcoal on the edges first so as it smokes closer to the center. This allows the tobacco to heat evenly and not burn.
  8. Do not exceed the amount of tobacco or press against the saucepan to prevent it from clogging.
  9. Different liquids mixed with water can be put in the base, for example honey, whiskey , liquor , milk , etc.

Smoking is harmful

A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics warns of the risk of hookah smoking. The consequences, according to the report, are similar to those of cigarette smoking plus an added risk of infection.

It is a very widespread practice in Arab countries whose consumption is increasing in recent years, in western societies, thanks to the proliferation of bars and restaurants where you can smoke a pipe or hookah, very popular especially among young people and adolescents.

This growth is largely due to four myths built around its consumption: that it is less harmful than cigarettes; that the water that is part of its mechanism filters out harmful substances; that it is less irritating to the throat and respiratory tract and that tobacco is made from fruits – they are normally flavored with fruit essences – and therefore it is a healthy option.


Contrary to the popular belief that tobacco used in hookah is less harmful, the authors of this study point out that it contains more nicotine , tar and heavy metals than that of conventional cigarettes.

As for smoke, the one that comes from pipe tobacco contains a concentration of carbon monoxide that varies between 0.34% and 1.40% (higher in pipes of smaller size and in public places), while the Cigarette smoke contains 0.41% of this substance.

As a consequence of high CO levels, carboxyhemoglobin concentration – measured in 1,832 healthy male volunteers from Saudi Arabia – is higher among hookah smokers (10.1%) than cigarette smokers (6.5 %) and non-smokers (1.6%).

Risk behavior

Smoking in a hookah is therefore a risky behavior that has harmful consequences for health, similar to those of cigarettes: lung cancer, decreased respiratory function, dependency, low weight in newborns of consuming mothers, infertility . Even in some of these pathologies pipe smokers present a higher risk than tobacco smokers.

As it is an eminently social practice, it is normal for several people to share the pipe, which implies that all of them suck through the same mouthpiece that passes from mouth to mouth, which is a source of transmission of infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C or Herpes Simplex .

In the case of adolescents, there are added dangers, since among this group of smokers it is common to mix tobacco with marijuana or hashish and to substitute water for alcoholic beverages. These combinations undoubtedly have added, serious health hazards, according to the report.

The tacit acceptance by parents, who even smoke with their children, and which are relatively cheap to consume, make the hookah something very attractive to young people.

Other data

Parts of the pipe

Hookah models are very varied.

Undoubtedly, the use of the pipe or hookah requires additional time to that of ordinary smoking. You have to carefully remove the bite from the ad-hoc bag, fill the hookah with the right touch so that it is not half empty or tight, and then light it evenly. Once lit, the inveterate smoker shows a sixth sense developed to prevent it from going out, which is the balance of many years of experience. A novice hookah smoker gives himself away right away. The inexperience in handling “teaches it” .


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