Multiple Uses of Hookahs
A hookah is a type of water pipe. Users load the bowl with shisha tobacco, then burn charcoal to heat the tobacco and create smoke. Users draw the smoke through the water bath by inhaling through the hookah's hose. The water bath in the hookah is commonly thought to filter some of the impurities from the smoke; however, the Mayo Clinic website warns that hookahs do not filter out smoke's toxic ingredients.
A hookah's chief use is as an instrument for smoking shisha tobacco. Shisha comes in a wide variety of flavors. Many of the flavors are fruity, such as strawberry, cherry and guava, but many other flavors are available, including examples, such as licorice, vanilla and chocolate mint. Shisha produces a flavor and aroma many people find pleasing and less irritating than cigarette smoke. Some forms of shisha promise freedom from tar and nicotine and contain no tobacco.
To Circumvent Anti-Smoking Laws
Some businesses are using hookahs as a way around smoking bans. In certain states, the hookah receives exemptions under some city and state laws that control or prohibit indoor smoking. Often, these laws are based on an establishment's percentage of revenue from tobacco sales. But, many locales are attempting to close such smoking ban loopholes. "Most of the anti-hookah laws now under consideration are intended to end exemptions in state indoor-smoking bans that allowed hookah bars to thrive," "The New York Times" reported in May 2011.
As Decorative Objects
Hookahs make interesting decorative pieces, bringing a piece of an exotic foreign culture into your living space. Hookahs come in a variety of designs, colors, patterns and sizes, from mini-hookahs to those with multiple hoses for many smokers. While some hookahs feature Middle Eastern designs from countries, such as Egypt and Syria, modern high-tech versions are made of aluminum, with laboratory glass in the shape of a flask serving as the vase. Some designs even include LED lighting. Bracket hookahs use a metal frame to support a smaller glass vase, so the device can sit on a tabletop.