Cultural and Historical Smoking with Hookah or Water Pipes

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There are various types of pipes which can be used when smoking tobacco. Some types of pipes include briar wood pipes, clay pipes, calabash pipes, corn cob pipes, meerschaum pipes, and hookah or glass pipes.

Water pipes are some of the most recommended from the different types of cigar pipes. Water filters outputs tobacco smoke in the chamber which may lessen the harmful effects of smoking. This filtering process is in stark contrast to other kinds of pipes, like steamroller pipes, which directly expose users to the smoke emitted. The evidence of one type of pipe being better than another is controversial. Health groups, the government, and other organizations warn that smoking in any form can still be hazardous to health.

In addition to filtering smoke, when water is incorporated with tobacco pipes, there is no after taste, unlike those present with other types of pipes. The material used in pipes can often be tasted during smoking with some pipe types. This can be said of pipes made of wood and other items, such as corn cobs, calabash, and meerschaum.

History and culture is associated with water or hookah pipe smoking. The use of these types of pipes can denote loyalty to one’s native traditions. In some cultures, it is included in ceremonial rites and events. In some parts of the world, a pipe can even serve as a status symbol in the society.

Hookah, the other term for pipes with water chambers, finds its origin in historical Persia between the late 1500’s and the early 1600’s. A Persian physician was the first to pass tobacco smoke in water in a bowl. It was done not only to cool down tobacco smoke but was then believed to have purified it.

In some nations, those who smoke with pipes, particularly water filtered types such as the hookah, are regarded as more socially acceptable than cigarette smokers. These include Arabic nations such as Syria, where hookah smoking can be found almost anywhere, and Pakistan, an Asian nation, where pipe smoking is more popular in the rural parts of the country. Other Asian nations which embrace hookah smoking as a social norm include Nepal. While pipe smoking was formerly available only to those with high status in Nepal, hookah, particularly those made of wooden materials, are now becoming popular among the nation’s youth. The same scenario can also be seen in urban areas in Bangladesh, where glass water pipes and bubbler pipes are offered in bars and clubs.

In the Philippines, smoking with hookah is not found along rural or urban lines. It is practiced based on demographic lines, such as in a few Islamic regions at the southern part of the country. South African individuals only participate in hookah smoking for recreational and not religious purposes. It is also more common among white South African citizens. For the Americas, such as the U.S. and Canada, water pipes are more prevalent among the youth of these nations. Pipe smoking can be found in a variety of demographics in a plethora of countries. It is one of the few historically documented past times that is still prevalent today.

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Michelle Walker has 14 articles online

Michelle Walker is an avid collector of hand made glass art. She is an expert on glass pipes of all varieties and particularly enjoys collecting glass on glass bubblers.


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Cultural and Historical Smoking with Hookah or Water Pipes

This article was published on 2011/08/05