Shisha is freaking addictive!
“very often people refer to the tobacco as “Shisha”= Incorrect. The common
term for tobacco is Massell! (Arabic nomenclature)
Craving for a smoke of Shisha after a meal? Or simply wanting to get “high”
while relaxing with friends? The common question people seem to have is,
weather shisha is as addictive and harmful as cigarretes. “Doesnt the water
filter off the dangerous stuff?”The Shisha/Hookah culture has been gaining
popularity in Asia, especially in Malaysia and Singapore. Its been seen as an
alternative to the tradisional, teh tarik or coffee at the local mamak/coffee joint.
The best part is, modern traders nowdays offer both!Just to brush up on
history, hookah or hukkah in Hindi is a single or multi stemmed (often glass
based) water pipe used for smoking.It is believed to have originated from India.
Yes, most of us have the conception that it comes from the middle east.
Apparently it was the indians who started it. Operated using a water
filtration concept, hookah is used to smoke herbal fruits and floral flavoured tobacco.
There are plenty of terminology for this apparatus, Narghile is the name used in
Syria,Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Turkey where the “n” is dropped in Arabic pronounciation.
Narghile is derived from the Persian word nargil which means coconut, and in
Sanskrit narikila suggesting the early hookah was hewn from coconut shells.
In cafes and restaurants,it is rare for the smoker not to order an individual
hookah as the price is generally low.
But for those who are sharing one, cafes usually provide separate plastic mouth
pieces that you can attach for personal hygiene. Believe it or not, in some
places, Iran for example, the mouth pieces or “Amjid” is usually made from wood
or metal and decorated with valuable stones.
Do it your self “Hookah”
The hookah is usually made of 4 components.
The bowl, or the head of the hookah is a container made from clay or marble is used to hold the coal and tobacco.The bowl is loaded with tobacco, and covered with alluminium foil and perforated with tiny holes. Hot bits of charcoal is placed on it allowing the tobacco to be heated up.
The plate is used to keep your supply of hot coal.
The body of the hookah is hollow (to let the smoke flow through) with a gasket at the bottom. The gasket has one minimum opening for the hose but can have multiple openings making it a multi hosed hookah. (usually for the longer bodied ones)
Theres a valve at the bottom, near the connection of the gasket and the water jar. It controls the air intake into the hookah. Closing it decreases the dillution rate, thus creating more intense smoke.
How it Operates
The glass jar is filled with sufficient water to submerge the inner
tube which is attached tightly to it. Tobacco is placed inside the bowl on top of the hookah with burning charcoal on the tin foil. When you inhale, air is sucked and heated by the hot charcoal, heats up the Tobacco, producing smoke, passing through the tube into the water, up the hose and into your lungs.
Tradisionally tobacco is mixed with sugar based syrup together with bits of fruits and extract to give it the sweet fragrant smell. Some times these flavours are derived from adding artificial flavourings including the all time favourites, mint, apple, chocolate and others. Blending flavours has become the latest “in” thing, which smokers think it gives a more complex flavour.
Effects of Shisha
Some might think that smoking shisha isnt as harmful as cigarretes, but the real truth is, because of the prolonged period of smoking shisha it exposes the smoker to more smoke. The water absorbs only little amounts of nicotine from the smoke, thus making it addictive. “Using the waterpipe for 45 minutes, could triple nicotine, exposure and substantially increase your intake of carbon monoxide, plasma nicotine and heart rate. Did you know the amount of TAR (mg) from 1gm of Shisha Tobacco is almost 72 times the same yield from 1gm of cigarette? Here are some sites for additional reading. Last but not least, we know you enjoy a puff of shisha. Just like anything else, do it responsibly.