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Hookah Mania

Old 12-31-05, 07:50 AM
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Hookah Mania

Posted 12/28/2005 10:43 PM
Updated 12/28/2005 10:54 PM

Hookah trend is puffing along

WASHINGTON At the Prince Cafe near Georgetown University, Nadine Cheaib jokes with friends as she sips tea and smokes melon-flavored tobacco through a water pipe.

A.J. Broadbent, 22, a film major at Virginia Tech, enjoys a smoke from a hookah pipe at the Prince Cafe in the Georgetown section of Washington.
Tim Dillon, USA TODAY

"It's something I grew up with," she says of the Middle Eastern custom known as hookah. Cheaib, 26, a Lebanese-born American and Georgetown graduate, doesn't smoke cigarettes and goes weeks without a pipe, but she likes the flavors, especially the mint-rose mixture, and the socializing. "When we meet for hookah, it's sort of our way of picking up where we left off," she says. She passes the pipe, more than 3 feet tall, to a fellow graduate while an Egyptian movie plays on a big screen.

In hundreds of bars and cafes nationwide from Fresno to Ames, Iowa, to Raleigh, N.C. Americans are inhaling fruit-flavored tobacco through water pipes as Arab and Indian men have done for centuries.

This tradition is posing a new challenge to the anti-tobacco movement in the USA, which has helped pass more than 2,000 smoke-free laws.

The smoking rate in the USA has been cut almost in half in the past 40 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1965, about 42% of U.S. adults smoked; by 2003, that was down to about 22%, CDC says.

The health risks

The popularity of hookah, also known as shisha and narghile, runs against the anti-tobacco trend, partly because it appeals to teens and young adults. Water pipes also are exempted from some smoke-free laws and enjoy a mystique of being a more cultural and safer alternative to cigarettes.

"There's a myth that the smoke is filtered by the water," says Thomas Eissenberg, a psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and co-author of a hookah study. The smoke passes through gurgling water before the user inhales it, but, he says, "Every risk of cigarette smoking is also associated with water pipes." Examples:

Eissenberg says a hookah, which is smoked for about 45 minutes, delivers 36 times more tar than a cigarette, 15 times more carbon monoxide and 70% more nicotine.

A study in the Journal of Periodontology found that water pipes smokers were five times more likely than non-smokers to show signs of gum disease.

In a June 2004 study, Jane Henley, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, found that men who smoked water pipes had five times the risk of lung cancer as non-smokers.

Eissenberg says he understands hookah's allure. "The first time I ordered one, it smelled like cherry cough drops," he says. He's concerned it may introduce young people to the addictive nature of nicotine.

Cheaib and Brian Wood, a Georgetown student, say they don't worry about the risks because they smoke infrequently. Wood, who says he doesn't smoke cigarettes, says hookahs have a smoother taste and don't leave a smell on clothes.

Qaiys Barak, manager of Maanjri Lounge in Raleigh, near North Carolina State University, says his customers are mostly American college students or young professionals. "It's a very young crowd," he says.

"It's different, unique," says Brennan Appel, director of Southsmoke.com, which sells hookah pipes and tobacco. He says sales have tripled in the past three years after hookah emerged in California and swept east.

He says it's now offered in about 1,000 bars, cafes or restaurants nationwide, many of which feature Middle Eastern food, Arab music videos or belly dancing. Smoking a hookah typically costs $7 to $15.

Despite its rising popularity, hookah is running afoul of some anti-smoking laws, including the one enacted this month in Washington state. It bans smoking inside all public facilities and workplaces and outside within 25 feet of doors, windows and vents.

Last month in Anaheim, Calif., the City Council approved restrictions on the city's 11 hookah venues after receiving complaints about rowdiness. It forbade live entertainment, alcohol, cover charges and patrons younger than 18.

Exceptions elsewhere

In other areas, including Columbus, Ohio, hookah venues are getting a pass. Like tobacconists and cigar bars, they qualify for exemptions under smoke-free laws because a sizable share of their sales comes from tobacco. In California, some hookah lounges have bypassed smoking bans meant to protect workers by making employees co-owners.

In New York City, which has about 20 hookah venues, there's tension, says City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. When the city passed its smoke-free law three years ago, it exempted cigar bars and tobacco stores. Since hookah lounges were relatively new and not politically connected, they weren't exempted, and because few serve alcohol, they don't qualify as bars.

At times, the city has looked the other way and not issued fines. But Vallone, who favors a hookah waiver, has also received complaints from residents about the smoke and noise near these lounges.

Washington, D.C., faces a similar quandary. This month in a first vote, the city approved an indoor smoking ban but exempted cigar bars and tobacconists. Councilman Jim Graham wants to add a hookah exemption to the final law. "This smoke-free bill is not about prohibition," he says. "That's what we would do if we included hookahs."

Smoking an apple-flavored pipe at lunchtime at Prince Cafe, Saudi diplomat Saud Albalawi says he's not happy that hookah may get a waiver. Because it's so readily available in the nation's capital, he's smoking every day. Before he came to the USA three months ago, he was planning to quit.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...ah-trend_x.htm


Silly smokers, hookahs are for dope.
Old 12-31-05, 08:22 AM
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There's a Hookah Joint down the street from me here in Sherman Oaks CA on Ventura and I've also seen the water pipes in various food places for customers in this area. It's a popular thing.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 12-31-05 at 08:28 AM.
Old 12-31-05, 08:56 AM
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We've had hookahs here in SC for years, but no hookah joints. That would be nice. My former roomate had one, and it would be nice to sit on the balcony outside our 2nd floor apartment and smoke, waving to the policeman who lived below us.
Old 12-31-05, 09:15 AM
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there is a big difference between being a pack a day addict and smoking hookah or a cigar once a week with friends in a social setting
Old 12-31-05, 09:17 AM
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I don't smoke, but I went to one a few weeks ago with some friends because they advertised a nice eclectic food menu. When we arrived it looked like a bad acid trip, kids who were stoned out of their minds were sitting at tables trying to look grown up while staring off into space, a foreign TV station blared from the back of the room, a constant buzzing like a cheap convenience store alarm rattled your ears, and when someone finally approached us for service and we mentioned food, "Habib" got this startled-yet distant look in his eyes like they hadn't taken the oven out of the box yet. That was our sign to exit stage left and head down to Haz-Mat for a quick rinse before finding another fine dining establishment. I can't wait to go back and try the seafood platter.
Old 12-31-05, 09:36 AM
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I enjoy smoking hookah quite a bit. I go to Samah in Chicago, which is a very nice hookah bar with an awesome atmosphere (middle eastern decor, private rooms with pillow seating, etc.) and great food and teas. Unfortunately, the increasing popularity of the place has killed the experience a bit. The staff is not nearly as knowledgable or professional as they used to be, prices have risen and these outrageous package deals have taken over. They also put a 1 1/2 hour time limit on your stay. A far cry from when I first started going. The place is a gold mine. You literally cannot get in the place on a Friday or Saturday without a reservation made in advance days before.

Like woofman said, some of these places can be really trashy. But when they're nice, it's a blast.

I also own a hookah, lots of tobacco, and many, many coals. It's fun having friends over for some drinks and smoking.

EDIT: Also, I don't know about the health risks obtained from this "study" in the article. It's not a well researched topic yet, and there are similar studies which state just the opposite. But, it is still tobacco, and is obviously not healthy for you, at the very least. Unless you smoke green out of it .

Last edited by Nausicaa; 12-31-05 at 09:39 AM.
Old 12-31-05, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by al bundy
there is a big difference between being a pack a day addict and smoking hookah or a cigar once a week with friends in a social setting

Yep. I've noticed that Cigar smokers aren't as addicted to smoking as cigarette smokers. They seem to take it or leave. I know I can go months without smoking a cigar.



Originally Posted by Nausicaa
EDIT: Also, I don't know about the health risks obtained from this "study" in the article. It's not a well researched topic yet, and there are similar studies which state just the opposite. But, it is still tobacco, and is obviously not healthy for you, at the very least. Unless you smoke green out of it .

I agree. I mean shit, look at the smokers who smoke all kinds of tobacco in other countries; I swear smoking ADDS YEARS to their lives. I think all the added chemicals they put in Western cigarettes just seems to make them extra lethal.


Hookah question, do you inhale the smoke into your lungs like cigarettes or do you just smoke it like a cigar?

Last edited by Giantrobo; 12-31-05 at 10:33 AM.
Old 12-31-05, 11:17 AM
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They have a few good ones down in Pacific Beach (San Diego).
Old 12-31-05, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Yep. I've noticed that Cigar smokers aren't as addicted to smoking as cigarette smokers. They seem to take it or leave. I know I can go months without smoking a cigar.
I'm the same way. I'm smoke pipes and cigars and average about 1 smoke a week. Of course, sometimes that means I smoke 4-5 times during a weekend with the guys and sometimes I go 2-3 months without smoking.

I agree. I mean shit, look at the smokers who smoke all kinds of tobacco in other countries; I swear smoking ADDS YEARS to their lives. I think all the added chemicals they put in Western cigarettes just seems to make them extra lethal.
That's my theory too. Most nicer cigars and pipe tobacco are advertised as additive free, and I've never really had a craving for either, other than an after steak "wouldn't a cigar be great right now" type of feeling.

Hookah question, do you inhale the smoke into your lungs like cigarettes or do you just smoke it like a cigar?
I don't think you'd get much without inhaling, and this is coming from a guy who never inhales cigars or pipes. Most types of hookah tobacco are more fruit and molasses than they are tobacco, and I really don't taste the flavors without inhaling.

BTW, smoking a hookah while watching a dvd is great entertainment.
Old 12-31-05, 03:23 PM
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There use to be a Hookah place in Pullman Washington. Then we passed a law that you can't smoke indoors or within 25 feet of doors, etc. They had to shut down. How stupid is that. I think most people know they are going to get smoke if they go to a bar. But EVERYONE should know you will be in a smoke filled room if you go to a place that is in business just to let you smoke.
Old 12-31-05, 03:31 PM
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That's stoooopid. If a place is specifically set up for smoking then they should leave them the hell alone.
Old 12-31-05, 04:31 PM
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I thought this thread was about asian prostitutes.
Old 12-31-05, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NORML54601
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...ah-trend_x.htm


Silly smokers, hookahs are for dopes.
Fixed, but ever so slightly.
Old 12-31-05, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Yep. I've noticed that Cigar smokers aren't as addicted to smoking as cigarette smokers. They seem to take it or leave. I know I can go months without smoking a cigar.

Same here. I could go a couple of months between a nice good cigar and be cool. It's a really laid back social thing.

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