HOOKAH – The Hype and Harm

Curious is the hype surrounding the wave of Hookah bars sprouting up in eclectic communities.

It’s a trend that’s taking a new generation of collegiate students and mid-level professionals of all nationalities by a storm, but has anyone paused to ask themselves, “Hey, is this just as bad as smoking cigarettes? Sure, it looks mad-cool and borderline-sexy. You and a new-age crew of friends prop yourselves in a booth or even outside on a patio table taking long whiffs and short swigs of fruit-flavored smoke in 45-minute intervals (or so).  You inhale through a long pipe and then  blow out poofs with measured breaths. Gee. Whatever happened to a good round of Spades?

Mayo Clinic


U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Hookah 101


Seems unsanitary to me. You’re passing a pipe from mouth-to-mouth, and not only that, who is responsible for properly sanitizing the equipment each evening after the yuppie rush? This can’t be good. I’m not an advocate of smoking (period) and my parents are “a cigarette couple of career indulge.” It’s unhealthy, lost its cool in the 1970’s with the elimination of tobacco television ads that unceremoniously wilted the Marlboro man’s whiskers. And the Joe Cool camel? Still not cool. Inhalation of smoke of any kind is unhealthy, but I’ll let the inserted Mayo Clinic and Health Department links express researched fact. I would, however, be remiss if I didn’t emphatically add that smoking is the leading cause of many cancers. Sadly, there are still those who don’t take heed.

We westerners love to latch on to the allure of another culture’s custom and turn it into our own social trends. No foul crying for me because where would any society be without “gently borrowed” global origins?  I bow to many aspects of mideastern culture, specifically falafel and baba ganoush. The latter has rendered my palette “eggplant insatiable. “Party on American rock stars, but allow yourselves to be individually informed before you follow a popular crowd and get hooked by the Hookah. With hype, comes harm.

Penny Dickerson 2011

2 comments on “HOOKAH – The Hype and Harm

  1. I can’t think of anything more unattractive than sucking smoke out of the end of hose passed from person to person. Not exactly a great choice for “date night”


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