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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

» What is typically smoked in a Hookah?
Most countries that smoke hookah use Naklia shisha in their hookah bars. Naklia shisha is a dense blend of tobaccos, different dried fruits and honey molasses. The smoke is passed through freezing cold water which helps the smoke cool provides for a smooth smoking experience. Originally it was used to smoke hashish and opium, which has contributed to the negative image some people still have of the hookah pipe, by this view has gradually been replaced with an acceptance for the hookah pipe as a social smoking ritual that is often conducted with no tobacco in the blend whatsoever. Hookah has also experienced a surge in popularity West, where hookahs, their various shishas and charcoal are now widely available. It has also been noted that the hookah has spread and has been accepted as far away as Japan.

» My hookah isn't working properly, what am I doing wrong?
First check the bowl and make sure you haven't packed the shisha in too tightly. The shisha out to be gently broken up and sprinkled into the bowl up until the level at the top, any more than this will mean you are compressing it in when you fit the screen which will not help the hookah to smoke properly. Make sure that the charcoal is hot enough and that it is not covered in ash. If it is you must use a pair of tongs to gently tap the ash off the charcoal into the hookah tray and then place it back into the head. Make sure that all of the connecting parts of your hookah pipe fit snugly together. This is essential to the smooth movement of smoke throughout the hookah. Check the gaskets and make sure they have not been burnt by the charcoal in the tray. Make sure the hoses are connected properly and are pulling well. This is the main cause of a hookah not smoking properly. If there are more hoses attached than are being used then make sure these are removed and that the holes they leave behind are plugged with wire stoppers.

» What is the difference between smoking hookah tobacco and smoking cigarettes?
While there is frequent debate about the negative affects to health by smoking hookah, no no conclusive evidence has been presented as of yet. Much of the trouble is that manufacturers of shisha, the smoking blends used in hookah pipes, are far less stringently regulated than the tobacco companies that manufacture cigarettes. As a result it is difficult to compare the two, especially since shisha products list tar and nicotine content in percentages and cigarette companies in milligrams. Much has been made of the smoking of hookah in Arab countries of late, with the focus being primarily on the ill effects of hookah smoke. One thing that ought to be borne in mind is the fact that due to the water filtration system addition of fruits and honey molasses in shisha mixes, the smoke from a hookah pipe can be deceptively light and smooth. In addition to this an average hookah session with involve the inhalation of a far greater volume of smoke into the lungs than would even be possible in the smoking of cigarettes. The advice as always is to use with caution and be aware that all forms of smoking are detrimental to your health.

» What are the differences between hookah tobacco manufactured in the Middle East and these newer products that are manufactured in the U.S.A?
With the increased popularity and interest in the smoking of the hookah pipe have come an array of products that are marketed to hookah smokers. Many of the companies that manufacture hookah tobacco in the Middle East have been around for many years and still produce the same products they always have. In addition to these many American companies have also brought their own products to the market. Many American hookah tobacco manufacturers use home grown tobacco which is often thought of as being superior in quality to that used by the hookah tobacco manufacturers in the Middle East. In addition, these American companies operate under more stringent regulations and must apply for FDA approval for all their products. Finally their products are marketed to a Western customer base, with different flavours and more modern packaging. This is not to disparage the quality of the hookah tobacco coming from the Middle East, most of which is exceedingly high. It is these hookah tobaccos that the American companies had to emulate when releasing their first products, many of which still set the benchmark for all the hookah tobacco that has followed. In the final analysis it is a matter of taste; some hookah smokers prefer the traditional methods of production and the traditional flavouring, where others prefer American tobacco and more modern flavours such as gumball. There is also some overlap here with Middle Eastern hookah companies upping their game in the face of a global economy with updated packaging and exotic flavours. Ultimately it is a personal preference and one you will only decide upon by trying different hookah tobaccos and selecting your favorite kind.

» Why doesn't my ashtray fit my hookah pipe properly?
It is an unfortunate fact that many hookah pipes, even the most well made, will inevitably have some minor issues that you will have to deal with upon opening your box. This is due to the fact that hookah models don't tend to be made of components developed exclusively for that model but ofter seem to be packaged as a mishmash of bits and pieces that the company in question has manufactured over the years. The most common culprits are the little peripheral pieces of a hookah pipe such as the ashtray or the hose grommets etc. Hookah smokers have quickly learned to live with these issues and are resolved to take the “some assembly required” saying a little bit further in the setting up of their hookah pipes. The most common cause of annoyance as far as bits just not fitting together properly is an ill-fitting ashtray that does not seem to go over the stem of the hookah properly or fit at all. This is usually caused by the hole in the middle of the ashtray being slightly too small for the stem of the hookah but can be easily remedied. Commonly the inner rim of the ashtray has a small thin piece of metal that has been folded over in order to give it its finish. All you need to do usually to get your ashtray sitting snugly on the stem is to take a pair of pliers and bend this inner rim slightly back, working your way around the entire circumference of the rim to get an even finish. Even on ashtrays that do not feature this little folded rim you can make the fold yourself simply by going round with a pair of pliers and gently bending it back evenly all the way around. This will take you no more than a couple of minutes and then your ashtray should fit just fine.

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