September 18, 2012 / Forbes Tech / — Hookah bars and cafes have been popping up more frequently throughout the US, promoted as a recreational and social activity that is potentially safer than cigarette smoking. Unfortunately, based on recent research and available evidence, smoking from a hookah pipe is not safer than cigarette smoking. It is actually more harmful in many respects.
A hookah is essentially a water pipe with an integrated smoke chamber, attached to a large bowl with a small hose attachment. As a special form of tobacco is heated, the smoke passes through water in a confined chamber to cool it, and then moves through a hose attached to a mouthpiece.