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The Scoop on Hookah

Posted by Andrew Harrison | August 02, 2012 / 03:38pm | Local News, Health
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) - You may not have heard of it, but hookah has been around for more than 500 years.
 Through the centuries hookah has puffed its way from the Middle East to hip cities across the USA.
 In fact, a Starkville business now offers hookah rentals.
 We cut through some of the smoke in tonight's edition of The Changing Family.
 The Cigar Lounge of Starkville is known for its walk-in humidor and wide array of tobaccos from across the Americas.
 Auston Nolan is a partner in the business.
 He says, " Most of them are hand rolled, so it's a different quality. It's a step up from the stuff you can buy at a gas station or convenience store."
 Cigars aren't all they do here.
 They also offer hookah rentals.
 The pipes look like they belong in a palace half way around the world.
 Auston advises, " The visual aspect of it really draws people in, and the bowls look cool, and the hoses, you're kind of curious, and also the flavor, that's pretty much the real draw of hookah."
 But what exactly is a hookah? 
 Auston says, " It's a glass bowl that you fill with water and then there is some sort of metal contraption that you put down in it, and then there is shisha that is put in the top, which is tobacco mixed with molasses and then you put a hot coal on top of that and you smoke through hoses, and the smoke runs through the water and kind of cleans it a little bit and get a lot of smoke."
Your hookah experience can last up to an hour.
It can be a relaxing time, but remember, hookah is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, and you have to be 18 to try the flavored tobaccos.  Auston advises, " Anything from strawberry to coffee flavored. It tastes good, first of all, it's really smooth, the smoke is not harsh on your lungs or your throat really."
 The lure of the middle eastern custom has been known to attract people who don't smoke cigarettes, but are in the mood for something a little exotic.
 A can of shisha typically costs about $12.
 It can last for 3 or 4 hookah sessions.   
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