How to Enjoy Smoking Hookah Flavored Tobacco

Throughout history many different cultures have practiced the tradition of smoking flavored tobacco though a hookah, or shisha, pipe. Common in Northern Africa, Turkey and the Middle East hookah flavored tobacco smoking is becoming more popular among Western civilizations and as it does the hookah newbies need to know a few things before taking their first drag.

Unlike cigarettes and traditional pipes hookah is smoked through a single or multi-stemmed water pipe. The hookah operates through water filtration and is often used with flavored tobaccos that come in a variety of flavors including apple, jasmine and mint. Though the use of water as a filter may lead some to think it is safer to smoke hookah rather than cigarettes no studies indicate that it is. Today hookah bars and cafes are popping up all over but you can enjoy fine hookah flavored tobacco in the comfort of your own home with a hookah pipe, a few accessories and high quality moassel flavored tobacco.

First off you'll need a hookah pipe. Depending on where you live there can be some discrepancy in whether hookah means the water pipe or the flavored tobacco that is used in the pipe. This also occurs with the word shisha that can have different connotations. Hookahs come in a wide variety of shapes and styles, some basic and plain, others extravagant and decorative. Hookah pipes are often made of glass and users need to be careful since these pipes can break easily. Another option for hookah pipes that are less fragile includes acrylic and metal bodies. Standard hookah pipes usually include a mouth piece, at least one hose, a ceramic top, tweezers and a brush cleaner.

In addition to the hookah pipe you will also need your choice of flavored tobacco, special hookah charcoal bricks and replaceable mouth caps. You may also want to include air and hose gauges that allow you to control and moderate the level of air and tobacco smoke in each toke to match your particular tastes.

Operating a hookah pipe is fairly simple. Fill the glass jar base with water, just enough to submerge a few centimeters of the body tube. Place your choice of flavored tobacco in the ceramic bowl at the top of the hookah pipe. Then place a burning charcoal brick on top of the tobacco. A recommendation for reducing the amount of charcoal ash you inhale is to place a thin piece of tin foil or a metal screen between the charcoal brick and the tobacco. This allows the charcoal to continue to heat the tobacco without sprinkling charcoal ash and dust into the tobacco itself. If you do use a screen make sure to clean it regularly to prevent ash and resin build up which can cause the smoke to be blocked and produce a much less satisfying toke.

The user then inhales using the hose which pulls air through the charcoal and into the bowl. This hot air evaporates the tobacco into smoke which goes down through the body tube that extends into the water jar base. This is where the bubbling effect occurs lifting the smoke to the top of the jar where the hose is attached. Inhaling on the hose will bring the flavored tobacco smoke into the user's lungs. Let the smoke sit for a moment before exhaling. The longer you hold the smoke the more intense the reaction will be.

While some smokers enjoy the "light-headedness" a strong toke produces others prefer a more casual toke that isn't as dizzying. You will notice in most common hookah sessions users are sitting down and comfortably reclining to fully enjoy the experience. Any tobacco can cause a mild feeling of dizziness so if you're not used to the effects it's best to be seated.

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