Quick Facts about Hookah


  1. Compared to a single cigarette, hookah smoke is known to contain:
  2. Higher levels of arsenic, lead, and nickel1
  3. 36 times more tar6
  4. 15 times more carbon monoxide4
  5. Smoking a hookah requires taking longer and harder drags, increasing levels of inhaled nicotine and carcinogens in the lungs.
  6. The longer the hookah session, the more nicotine and toxins one takes in.
  7. A 45 to 60 minute hookah session exposes the smoker to approximately the same amount of tar and nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. 3
  8. Sharing mouthpieces without washing them can increase the risk of spreading colds, flu, and infections—even oral herpes.7
  9. Health risks of smoking hookahs include cancer, heart disease, lung damage, and denta disease.5
  10.  Do not think that if you are just visiting a hookah bar, that you are in the clear. There are still high levels of damaging secondhand smoke to all who are present
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Setting Up Your Hookah

Hookah set up

  • Fill the glass base about half full of water. Submerge the bottom of the stem about 1 ½” into the water.
  • Place the large black rubber base grommet onto the bottom of the metal stem. Insert the metal stem into the glass base by applying pressure downward while rotating the stem so it fits snugly.
  • Place the circular ashtray on top of the metal hookah stem.
  • Place the rubber bowl grommet (the larger rubber grommet) onto the top of the metal hookah stem. Place the ceramic tobacco bowl on top of the grommet to create an airtight seal. Be sure not to push the bowl onto the stem too hard, as this may split the bowl in two pieces.
  • Insert the hose grommet (the smaller grommet) into the hose port on the metal hookah stem. Place the wooden end of the hose into the rubber hose grommet and secure snugly to create an airtight seal. Do this for all hoses if using a multiple hose hookah.
  • Sprinkle some hookah tobacco into the clay bowl. Be sure not to over pack the bowl, as you want good airflow through the tobacco. Also, it is advisable to keep a small amount of airspace between the top of the tobacco and the underside of the foil, not more than ¼”.
  • Cover the tobacco in the bowl with a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side down. Punch holes in the foil w/ a large pushpin or any pointed object.


  • Try to make the hole pattern fit the size of charcoal you’ll be using. Too many holes will result in fresh, unheated air to combine with the hookah smoke resulting in a less thick smoke. A fork can be used to quickly create a 4 x 4 hole pattern.
  • A) Quick-lighting charcoals. Use the charcoal pincers to secure a piece of charcoal while igniting it with a lighter or match. Let the charcoal continue sparking until no chemical igniter is left. Blow on the charcoal until it is red hot and place on top of foil covered bowl.


  • B) Natural charcoals. Natural coals are not quick lighting and therefore require more exposure to heat to get them red hot. Set the charcoal on either a gas or an electric stovetop burner for best results. This takes about 8 to 12 minutes. A blowtorch from any hardware store works well too, but requires constant attention.
  • When the coal has a grey coating, place the coal on top of the foil.
  • The metal charcoal windscreen can be used when smoking outdoors to prevent the wind from blowing hot charcoal or ash. The windscreen can also be used indoors to prevent a hot charcoal from burning the floor.
  • The air exchange valve, or one-way valve, allows the user to clear stale or overly thick smoke form the glass base. This is done by blowing into the hose and pushing the used smoke out through the air exchange valve. The valve is blocked off by a steel ball bearing, which prohibits fresh air from entering the hookah when sucking on the hose.
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