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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about a traditonal smoking pipe. For divers supplied with breathing

gas from the surface, see surface supplied diving



 Egyptian hookah




Syrian chiller hookah

  Armenian priest relaxing with a hookah in Jerusalem.

 Armenian priest relaxing with a hookah in Jerusalem

A hookah (Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा / ÍÞøÀ huqqa) is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass

based) water pipe device for smoking; originating in India,[1][2] that has gained popularity

especially in the Arab World. A hookah operates by water-filtration and indirect heat. It

can be used for smoking many substances, such as herbal fruits and tobacco.


Depending on locality, hookahs may be referred to by many other names (often of Arab,

Indian, Turkish, Uzbek, or Persian origin). Arghile or Narghile is the name most

commonly used in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Albania,Greece, Israel, Bulgaria

and Romania, though the initial "n" is often dropped in Arabic. "Narghile" is from the

Persian word "nārgil" or "coconut". In Sanskrit nārikela (नारीकेल), as the original,

primitive hookahs were made out of coconut shells.[3] Shisha (ÔíÔÉ) is from the Persian

word shishe (ÔیÔå, literally translated as glass and not bottle), and is primarily used for

water pipes in Egypt and the Arab countries of the Gulf (such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar,

UAE, and Saudi Arabia) as well as Morocco, Tunisia, Somalia and Yemen. In Iran it is

called ghalyoun or ghalyan (ÞáíÇä) and in India and Pakistan it is referred to as huqqa

(हुक़्क़ा ÍÞøÀ).


The archaic form of this latter Indian name hookah is most commonly used in English for

historical reasons, as it was in India that large numbers of English-speakers first sampled

the effects of the water pipe. William Hickey wrote in his Memoirs that shortly after

arrival in Calcutta in 1775:





The most highly-dressed and splendid hookah was prepared for me. I tried it,  

but did not like it. As after several trials I still found it disagreeable, I with

 much gravity requested to know whether it was indispensably necessary that I

 should become a smoker, which was answered with equal gravity, '

 Undoubtedly it is, for you might as well be out of the world as out of the

 fashion. Here everybody uses a hookah, and it is impossible to get on

 without'.....[I] have frequently heard men declare they would much rather be  

deprived of their dinner than their hookah.[4]



  [edit] culture

 [edit] Middle East

 [edit] Arab World



 Bedouin smoking hookah, locally called "argileh", in a coffee house in Deir ez-Zor, near

the Euphrates River, 1920s.

 In the Arab world, social smoking is done with a single or double hose. When the smoker

is finished, either the hose is placed back on the table signifying that it is free, or it is

handed from one user to the next, folded back on itself so that the mouthpiece does not

point at the person receiving it. (Stories tell Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar thought of it as an

insult if the mouthpiece pointed at the person, but there are no official facts.) Another

tradition is that the receiver taps or slaps the giver on the back of the hand while taking it

as a sign of respect or friendship.

 In cafés and restaurants, however, it is rare for each smoker not to order an individual

hookah, as the price is generally low, ranging from $USD2 to $USD10.

Most cafés (called maqha— Arabic: ãÞåì, "coffeeshop") in the Middle East have hookahs

available. Cafés are very widespread, and are amongst the main social gathering places

the Arab world (similar to the status pubs have in the UK). 

[edit] Iran

    Persian woman, in Qajari dress seen here smoking the traditional Qalyan.

Persian woman, in Qajari dress seen here smoking the traditional Qalyan.

In Iran, the hookah is known as a ghalyoun (Persian: ÞáíÇä) (also spelt ghalyan or

ghelyoon). It is similar in many ways to the Arabic hookah but has its own unique

attributes. An example is the top part of the ghalyoun called 'sar' (Persian: ÓÑ=head),

where the tobacco is placed, is bigger than the ones seen in Turkey. Also the major part

of the hose is flexible and covered with soft silk or cloth while the Turkish make the

wooden part as big as the flexible part.

There are mouthpieces called 'Amjid' (ÇãÌیÏ) that each person has his own personal one,

usually made of wood or metal and decorated with valuable or other stones. Amjids are

only used for their fancy look. However, all the Hookah Bars have plastic mouth-pieces. 

Use of water pipes in Iran can be traced back to the Qajar period. In those days the

were made of sugar cane. Persians had a special tobacco called Khansar (ÎÇäÓÇÑ,

presumably name of the origin city). The charcoals would be put on the Khansar without

foil.Khansar has less smoke than the normal tobacco 


[edit] Turkey

Hookah smoking by coffee shop in Diyarrbakir 1909

In Turkey, hookah is smoked on a social basis, usually in one's home with guests or in

cafe with friends. Most cities have hookah cafes where hookah is offered with a non-

alcoholic drink (mainly tea). This is mostly for health reasons rather than cultural

reasons. Often people will smoke hookah after dinner as a replacement for cigarettes. In

bigger cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Adana, restaurants may have dinner &

hookah specials which include meal, beverage (alcoholic/non-alcoholic), Turkish coffee

and hookah.

 In certain parts of the country, people use hookah cafes to watch popular TV shows,

national sports games, etc. and smoke hookah to socialize.

 Once the centre of Istanbul’s social and political life, the hookah is considered one of

life’s great pleasures by the locals today.


[edit] Israel

 Hookah for sale in jerusalem at the shuk

In Israel, the hookah is prevalent among Middle Eastern Jewish immigrants from Iran

Iraq, Turkey and Yemen (collectively known as Mizrahi Jews). Hookah use is also

common in the Arab home where families will commonly smoke after a large meal or at

a family gathering. Many Jewish families have also adopted this custom, although

individual usage patterns vary according to culture heritage and custom. Hookahs are

becoming increasingly popular within Israel particularly among tourists. Shops selling

paraphernalia can be found on most high streets and markets. Most nightclubs also have

hookahs. In 2005, due to an increase in use among youth, a campaign has been launched

by The Israel Cancer Association warning against the hazards of hookah smoking, and

the IDF has forbidden the use of hookahs by soldiers within its bases.

  [ edit] Other Asian countries

 [ edit] india

 In the Indian subcontinent the hookah is becoming better known, and cafés and

restaurants that offer it as a consumable are popular. The use of hookahs from ancient

times in India was not only a custom, but a matter of prestige. Rich and landed classes

would smoke hookahs. Tobacco is smoked in hookahs in many villages as per traditional

customs. Smoking molasses in a hookah is now becoming popular amongst the youth in

India. It is a growing trend amongst youngsters and adolescents. There are several chain

clubs, Bars and coffee shops (such as Mocha) in India offering a variety of hookah.

 The new trends emerging are that of non-tobacco hookahs with herbal flavours. Several

modern restaurants are famous for this.

[edit ] Pakistan

 In Pakistan, hookahs have become very popular in the cosmopolitan cities. The Hookah

or Sheesha craze hit Karachi and the rest of Pakistan following the opening of Damascus Restaurant in 1999. Many clubs and cafes are offering them and it has become quite

popular amongst the youth and students in Pakistan. This form of smoking has become

very popular for social gatherings, functions, and events. There are a large number of

cafes, restaurants, and chill out places offering a variety of sheesha and hookahs.


 Malaysia too has seen an increase in sheesha use and cafes offering sheesha pipes. in[5]

the Philippines, the popularity is vastly growing, in the capital's most cosmopolitan city,

Makati; various high-end bars and clubs offer hookahs to patrons. In Afganistan, hookah

has been popular, especially in Kabul, for some time. "Chillam", as is called the Afghan narghile.

Although hookah use has been common for hundreds of years and enjoyed by people of

all ages, it has just begun to become a youth-oriented pastime in Asia in recent times.

Hookahs are most popular with college students and teenagers, who may be underage and

thus unable to purchase cigarettes  [6]

  [edit]  south  Africa

 In South Africa, hookah, colloquially known as a hubbly bubbly, is popular amongst the

Cape Malay, Indian population, where it is smoked as a social pastime.[7] However,

hookah is seeing increasing popularity with white South Africans, especially the youth.

Hookah bars are relatively uncommon, and smoking is normally done at home or in

public spaces such as beaches and picnic sites.

 In South Africa, the terminology of the various hookah components also differ from other

countries. The clay "head/bowl" is known as a "clay pot". The hoses are called "pipes"

and the air release valve is known, strangely, as a "clutch".

  [edit]   Europe


This section is written like a personal reflection or essay and may require cleanup.
help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style


In Spain, the use of the hookah has recently increased in popularity. They are usually

readily available at tea-oriented coffeehouses, called teterías in Spanish, which are often ran by Arab immigrants or have some other sort of affinity with the east. Hookahs are usually sold at prices between €10 and €70, and hookah tobacco and charcoal is easily

found in those same coffee houses, or at stores run by eastern immigrants. Immigrants and native Spanish alike enjoy this custom, and it is usually seen as a lighter way of

smoking than cigarettes. Buying one's own tobacco and hookah is usually noticeably


expensive than ordering hookahs at a coffee house.

 Hookahs are also becoming increasingly popular in Moscow and other Russian cities

Many bars employ a "hookah man" or "niam" which is commonly pronounced "ni-eem

(Rus. кальянщик tr. kal'yanshchik), often of middle-eastern appearance and wearing an

approximation of Arab or Turkish costume, to bring the pipes to customers' tables and

wrappings may be provided to each person at the table for hygiene reasons.

 Hookahs are popular as well in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. All the youth hookah

fashion looks the same way it looks in Russia.

Indian restaurants but are most commonly found in Lebanese restaurants and Egyptian-

run "hubbly-bubbly" bars. Concentrations of these hookah establishments are often found

in close proximity to University campuses, as on Rusholme's Curry Mile in Manchester

or in Oxford, and they cater to a mixture of British and Middle-Eastern clientel amongst

students. A ban on public smoking was enacted in Scotland in 2006, and a similar ban has

taken effect in England on July 1st 2007. Hookah bars have since been closed, as there is

a complete ban of smoking in enclosed public areas; however, some businesses have

remained open, functioning as normal cafés.

 Hookaah has been recently very popular in Indian Youth and places like Mocks and

Sigaaras have made it very popular with Metropolitan cities like Mumbai.

Hookah smoking has also risen in popularity in Germany, particularly in Berlin and

Cologne, where many hookah bars exist due in part to a relatively large Turkish

population. Hookahs are also very easy to acquire. During the 2006 World Cup, many

booths in the area outside of the Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof specialized in selling the

water-pipes and flavored tobacco. In addition, many people create homemade hookahs

due to the relative ease of construction and the high cost of a quality pipe. Hooka (locally

called Shisha) bars are even commonly found in towns with just 100,000 inhabitants.

 In Italy, hookah bars are still not so common, but their number is increasing, as hookah

(usually known only as narghilè) smoking is currently gaining favor and seen as less

dangerous and irritating for other nearby then cigarettes (yet, it is covered by the no

smoke in public locals law if not for dedicated places or rooms). As a matter of note the

italian government banned the selling of the usual hookah wet and fruits flavoured

tobacco as it does not pass under the statal monopoly on tobaccos (Monopolio di Stato)

and, more important to health, is not regulated by precise rules before selling, unlike the

normal, dry tobacco, and being wet have actually more possibility of being of low

quality, partially degraded or containing colonies of bacterias which could not be

completly killed by ember's fire while smoking

 In Sweden, hookah smoking is on the rise. Cheap hookahs and hookah-related products,

like tobacco and charcoal, are now available in the many kiosk-like businesses run by

immigrants, mostly of middle-eastern origin, found in the larger cities. Hookahs are

mostly used by teenagers and immigrants, but the use is slowly becoming more

widespread. Hookah bars and similar establishments are still very rare though, in part due

to anti-smoking laws which forbids smoking in restaurants and in public buildings.

 In the Czech republic, hookah is relatively common in many tearooms (usually cost

between 100 and 150 CZK). Hookash are usually sold in specialided orient-shops and

tearooms at prices mostly between 500 and 2500 CZK. Local names for hookah are

"šíša", "vodnice", "voďár", "vodní dýmka", etc …

 Hookah ('vesipiip' in Estonian) has also gained major popularity in Estonia, where it has

caused contoversy amongst the troubled parents. Still, you can hardly find any party or

(youth) gathering without a hookah.

 [edit]United States and Canada

                         Main article:Hookah lounge

Recently many cities, states and countries have implemented anti-smoking policies. In

most jurisdictions, Hookah business can be exempted from the policies through special

permits. Some permits however, have requirements such as the business earn a certain

minimum percentage of their revenue from alcohol or tobacco.

 In some cases Hookah bars have been forced to close or consider alternatives, such as

offering non-tobacco based maʿasel. In many cities though, hookah lounges have been

growing in popularity - particularly near college campuses or cities with large Middle-

 Eastern communities


In Mexico hookah bars have gained popularity in recent years, becoming a popular trend

among young people. Some places are simply hookah cafes, while others are night-clubs

offering hookah along with alcoholic beverages. They are often located at fashion zones

like La Condesa or Santa Fe. The increasing popularity of the hookah is also due to the

Middle Eastern immigrant families that have been settled in Mexico for some time now.

The smoking of the hookah has also become a social pass time for week end afternoons.

Although there is an increasing demand for hookah there are still few places that offer

this pleasure. Unlike in Middle Eastern countries it is not habitual to smoke a hookah

while, or immediately after a dinner. The smoking of hookah is done later usually in the

late afternoon, and very commonly use alcoholic beverages (such as vodka or tequila) as

filters instead of the traditional usage of water.


edit] Structure and operation




 A look-through of the components of a hookah



 Damascene woodworkers creating wood for hookahs, 19th century.

Excluding grommets, a hookah is usually made of five components, four of which are essential for its operation

 [edit]The bowl

 Also known as the head of the hookah, the bowl is a container, usually made out of clay

or marble, that holds the tobacco and coal during the smoking session.


The hose is a slender tube that allows the smoke to be drawn. The end is typically fitted

with a metal or wooden mouthpiece.

 [edit]Body, Gasket, Valve

The body of the hookah is a hollow tube with a gasket at its bottom. The gasket itself has

at least one opening for the hose. The gasket seals the connection of the body of the

hookah with the water jar. The gasket may have one more opening with a valve in it for

clearing the smoke from the water jar not via the hose.

 [edit]Water jar

 Placed at the bottom of the hookah, the water jar is a container which the smoke from the

tobacco passes through before it reaches the hose. By passing through water, the smoke

gains moisture. This makes inhaling the smoke of the hookah easier than a cigarette's.

Also the water jar allegedly functions as a filter for the smoke. The level of the water has to be higher than the lowest point of the body's tube in order for the smoke to pass

through it. Liquids other than water may be added, such as a strong mixture of

alcohol,spirit and/or fruit juice.

 [edit]The plate

 The plate is usually just below the bowl and is used for "dead" coals from previous

smoking sessions. It is not vital for the operation of the hookah.


 The jar at the bottom of the hookah is filled with water sufficient to submerge a few

centimeters of the body tube, which is sealed tightly to it. Tobacco is placed inside the

bowl at the top of the hookah and a burning charcoal is placed on top of the tobacco.

Some cultures cover the bowl with perforated tin foil to separate the coal and the tobacco,

which minimizes inhalation of coal ash with the smoke.

 When one inhales via the hose, air is pulled through the coal and into the bowl. The air,

hot from the charcoal, roasts, not burns, the tobacco, producing smoke. This smoke

passes down through the body tube, which extends into the water in the jar. It bubbles up

through the water and fills the top part of the jar, to which the hose is attached. When a

smoker inhales from the hose, smoke passes into the lungs, and the change in pressure in

the jar pulls more air through the charcoal, continuing the process.

The hookah's components must be sealed tightly with grommets, or air which does not

flow through the coal will dilute the smoke.



     Hookah tobacco, as shown here, often has a damp and sticky appearance derived from the honey or other sweeteners added.

 Hookah tobacco, as shown here, often has a damp and sticky appearance derived from the

honey or other sweeteners added.


Tobamel A sweet substance smoked in a hookah pipe, usually containing tobacco.

Tobamel is legal in Canada and the United States. Due to its nicotine content, those who

smoke it often experience a mild stimulating effect. Nicotine is the addictive drug also

found in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.


Maʿasel, ãÚÓá, (as there are many ways of transliterating Arabic, the transliterated

spelling of the word may vary), arabic for, literally, honeyed, and is the name the "shisha

tobacco" is labeled as by the arabic producers like Egyptian based Nakhla Tobacco. 



Tumbâk is word of Turkish origin and refers simply to tobacco, not necessarily flavored

or sweetened. The Persian word tumbeki and the Hindi/Urdu word Tumbako are similar.


 Jurâk, mainly of Indian origin, might be considered as an intermediate substance between

traditional sweetened tobaccos and the fruity hookah of modern times. The term applies

both to a tobacco mixture that includes fruits or aromatic oils as well as tobacco that is

just sweetened.


Molasses tobacco is sold in a variety of flavours. Some of the flavours in which it is

available are derived from the addition of artificial flavourings; other manufacturers shun

 these. A few of the flavours are based upon the scent of flowers. Flavours include vanilla, coconut, rose, honey, strawberry, watermelon, mint, cherry, orange, apple, apricot, chocolate, coffee, grape, peach, cola, gum, etc

The Double-Apple (Persian:ÏæÓیÈ,Do-Sib) is also a very popular flavour in the middle-

east by the every day hookah-smokers because of the strength. But most two-apple

tobacco seen in the U.S. stores are just apple flavour and aren't as strong.

Zaghloul is often served with a broken coal mixed into the hookah itself[ citation needed].




 Hookah dealership in a Cairo marketplace

Some notable brands of flavored tobacco from include: Al Amir, Al Fakher, Habibi

Hookafina, Abajûra, El-bâshâ , El-'Esfahâny, En-nakhla, Ibyâry, Shîh 'el-beled, Zeglûl.

All of these are Egyptian except for Shîh 'el-beled which is Tunisian and Serbetli which

is as well as Sima Sultan Turkish.

 This is in addition to Bahraini molasses such as Bahraini Apple (done by local firms, and

adopted by huge international hookah molasses firms such as Al Nakhla as well), and

Bahraini Zeglul, and UAE Based Al Fakher molasses, which is often softer in taste than

the Egyptian molasses. Today there are also numerous varieties produced in the West

with more coming to market each year.

 Besides being sold in little packets as is rolling tobacco, hookah is also sold in cardboard

boxes and plastic jars. Packaging is generally illustrated with bright floral motifs, fruit,        lush gardens and romantic images of sultans or pashas.

 The relative proportions of tobacco, treacle, fruits and spices, on average, 30%, 50% and

20% respectively[citation needed]. The substance is generally valid for two years; boxes

usually indicate the production date. Health warnings about lung cancer risks and

cardiovascular disease appear on these products similar to other tobacco products

elsewhere in the world.

Some manufacturers like Soex produce tobacco-free flavored herbal blends and market

these as shisha as well. These herbal blends typically advertise themselves as having no

 tar and nicotine, thus a safer alternative that is still enjoyable. Other Distributors provide

tobacco-based flavored blends as well as a variety of hookahs.

 [edit]Style and health

 [edit]Health benefits and risks



 he caterpillar using a hookah, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Today's media sometimes suggests that hookah can be a more health threatening activity

than smoking cigarettes. Research suggests that a session of hookah tobacco smoking

(tobacco molasses) which lasts 45 minutes delivers slightly more tar and carbon monoxide(around 5-10%) than a packet of cigarettes.[8] This study has, however, come

under criticism for using unrealistically high temperatures for the tobacco (600-650

degrees C) and using arbitrary figures for tar filtration rates.[citation needed] This could

possibly have skewed results, as the carcinogenic and toxin levels of smoke increases

dramatically with temperature (Wynder 1958). Common practice is to keep temperatures

to degrees which do not "char" the hookah; that is within a temperature range of 100-150

C. (Chaouachi K: Patologie associate all'uso del narghile). The effects of these lower

temperatures on tar are inconclusive, though Chaouachi indicates the tar would be less


 ome hookah tobaccos claim to contain 0.0% Tar.

However research has indicated that the use of the hookah may reduce comparative

cancer risks, though such studies are not conclusive (Hoffman[9], Rakower, Salem 1983

and 90, Gupta Dheeraj 2001, Tandon 1995, Lubin 1992, Hazelton 2001, Stirling 1979).

The levels of carbon monoxide produced during a hookah session varies widely

depending on the type of coal used. Japanese charcoals are thought to produce lower

amounts of carbon monoxide. However there is a notable difference in areas of carbon

monoxide absorption, in that while cigarettes have a notable effect on the small

respiratory tracts rather, shisha smoking mostly affects the major airways (Bakir 1991,

Kiter). This means a lessened FEV vs FEV1/FVC ratio compared to cigarettes, which is

believed to be less harmful for the airways long-term. It should be considered as a "safe"

alternative to common cigarette smoking.

 A report[10] released in 2005 by WHO (World Health Organization) claimed to have

researched the effects of water-pipe smoking.

 A popular article by K Chaouachi, a French researcher who has been studying hookah

usage and effects throughout the world since 1997, highlighted the mistakes and errors

made by the WHO TobReg in its report[11]. The WHO TobReg's report is used in a lot of

media articles about hookah smoking and its effects. Chaouachi also authored a book[12]

in 2007 which offers a complete look at data collected from his studies on hookahs and

hookah users.

 Hookahs can also be smoked with herbal flavours. These contain Sugar Cane Bagasse

with no tobacco, nicotine or tar. The popular brands are Soex, Highlife & Black Label.

This new method of smoking is aimed at replacing tobacco and its health effects.

Therefore no research or discovered health risks have been conducted on herbal flavous.

There has been a study that claims that this could be safer than traditional tobacco used in


 Many articles[14] suggest that there is simply not enough research to provide answers to

determine the effects of hookah smoking. Research is under way by Fogarty International

Center-funded Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies, Egyptian Smoking Prevention

Research Institute, Research for International Tobacco Control-funded Tobacco

Prevention and Control Research Group at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.


  1. ^ Hookah History. Fumari. Retrieved on 2007-07-23

  2. ^ Why not learn about the origin of Hookah?. India Heritage. Retrieved on 2007-07-23

  3. ^ Nargile. Mymerhaba

  4. ^ (1918) Memoirs of William Hickey, Vol. II, London: Hurst & Blackett, p. 136

  5. ^ http://www.tobacco.org/articles/country/malaysia/?code=malaysia&pattern=shisha

  6. ^ http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5520a2.htm

  7. ^ Hubble-bubble as cafes go up in smoke.

  8. ^ (December 28, 2005). "Hookah trend is puffing along". USA Today

  9. ^ (1967). "Un hommage à Ernst, 82-91% of tar is absorbed in water".

  10. ^ (2005). "Waterpipe tobacco smoking: health effects, research needs and recommended actions by regulators". WHO TobReg.

  11. ^ (19 July 2006). "Critique of the WHO TobReg's "Advisory Note" report entitled: "Waterpipe tobacco smoking: health effects, research needs and recommended actions by regulators". Kamal Chaouachi.

  12. ^ (2007). "Tout Savoir sur le narguilé. Société, Culture, Histoire et Santé (Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Hookahs. Society, Culture, Origins and Health Aspects)". Kamal Chaouachi.

  13. ^ . "Non-tobacco containing smoking product report". Lewinger Olga.

  14. ^ (25 June 2004). "Tobacco smoking using a waterpipe report". W Maziak


[1]Hookah history, etiquette, setup and maintenance


aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopadie




     Arabische Wasserpfeife


Arabische Wasserpfeife


Eine Shisha (auch Sheesha; deutsche Transkription: Schischa) ist eine Wasserpfeife

arabischen Ursprungs. Im Gegensatz zur Bong wird in der Shisha meist Tabak mit

Fruchtaromen oder ähnlichen Geschmacksrichtungen geraucht. Die Ursprungsform des

Wortes ist persisch shishe (ÔíÔå) "Glas". Das Wort gelangte ins Türkische (şişe "Glas")

sowie ins Arabische, wo es in den nordafrikanischen Dialekten des Arabischen den

Glaskörper der Wasserpfeife sowie die Pfeife insgesamt bezeichnet. Im Türkischen wird

die Pfeife als nargile bezeichnet, was auf das persische Wort nargile (äѐíáå) „Kokosnuss

und letztlich auf das Sanskrit-Wort nārikela (नारीकेल) zurückgeht, das ebenfalls

„Kokosnuss“ bedeutet und Aufschluss darüber gibt, dass die Pfeife ursprünglich aus

Indien stammte und aus Kokosnüssen hergestellt wurde. Aus dem türkischen Namen

abgeleitete Bezeichnungen sind narǧīla (äÑÌíáÉ) und arǧīla (ÃÑÌíáÉ) in den arabischen

Dialekten des östlichen Mittelmeerraums und Syriens und im Hebräischen sowie narjilés

(ναργιλές) im Griechischen. Im Arabischen existieren weitere Bezeichnungen für

bestimmte Wasserpfeifentypen, so z.B. in Ägypten und im Sudan gōza (ÌæÒÉ, wörtlich

„Nuss“) für eine kleine, transportable Pfeife, die häufig zum Rauchen von Haschisch

verwendet wird.


Das Prinzip der Shisha soll aus Indien stammen. Dort soll die erste Shisha aus einem in

eine Kokosnuss gesteckten Bambusstock bestanden haben.

 Ab dem 16. Jahrhundert gelangte die Shisha zu den Osmanen. Um die Shisha entwickelte

sich eine Gemeinschaftskultur, die bis heute Bestand hat. Die Popularität der Shisha

verbreitete sich ebenfalls im Iran und übertrug sich von dort in weite Teile der arabischen

Welt. Die Shisha wurde in vielen arabischen Ländern ein fester Bestandteil der Kultur;

das gemeinsame Rauchen wurde und wird bis heute als Symbol der Gastfreundlichkeit

angesehen. In der Türkei wurde die Shisha in ihrer heutigen Erscheinungsform verbreitet

Von dort aus wurde sie in die westliche Welt exportiert, wo sie im 20. Jahrhundert als

alternativeForm des Tabakrauchens akzeptiert wurde.

 Speziell in Europa erfreut sie sich heute wachsender Beliebtheit. In vielen Städten gibt es

bereits Cafés und Bars, in denen Wasserpfeifen bestellt werden können. Auch in Parks

oder anderen öffentlichen Freizeiteinrichtungen gehen vor allem junge Menschen dem

Shisharauchen nach. Seit dem Jahr 2001 herrscht auch in Deutschland ein regelrechter


Benötigte Utensilien







 Shishatabakmit 25% Feuchtigkeit

Der Wasserpfeifentabak ist ein spezieller feuchter Tabak, der aus einer Mischung von

Tabak, Melasse und Glycerin besteht. Er ist deutlich feuchter als Pfeifen- oder

Zigarrentabak. Vor allem im europäischen Raum wird aromatisierter Tabak geraucht,

welcher in vielen verschiedenen Geschmacksrichtungen erhältlich ist. Die wohl

bekannteste davon ist Doppelapfel; es gibt jedoch neben weiteren Apfeltabaken noch

viele andere Sorten, wie beispielsweise Kirsche, Minze, Orange, Zitrone, Mango,

Vanille, Banane, Cappuccino, Karamell, Lakritze, Kokosnuss, Multifrucht, Rose, Traube,

Erdbeere, Pfirsich, Melone und auch Cola. Die Produzenten lassen sich immer neue und

außergewöhnliche Geschmacksrichtungen einfallen, so gibt es mittlerweile auch schon

Basilikum- oder Bier-Tabak. In arabischen Ländern, im Iran und in Aserbaidschan wird

mehrheitlich nicht aromatisierter Tabak geraucht. Teilweise wird der Tabak dort durch

die Zugabe von Orienttabaken und Honig selbst aromatisiert. Seltener ist die Zugabe von

Rosenwasser in der Bowl oder spezieller Hölzer zur Kohle. Ein großer Unterschied zur

europäischen Rauchweise ist, dass in den arabischen Ländern häufig ohne Alufolie

geraucht wird - die Kohle wird also direkt auf den Tabak gelegt.

 Wasserpfeifentabak ist von seiner Konsistenz her nicht mit gewöhnlichem Tabak zu

vergleichen und hat wegen seines viel höheren Feuchthaltemittelanteils (etwa 20 bis 40

Prozent) eine klebrige, teigartige Konsistenz. Auf Grund dieser Feuchtigkeit tritt

Wasserpfeifentabak derzeit mit geltenden Qualitätsmerkmalen der deutschen

Tabakverordnung von 1977 in Konflikt, wonach Rauchtabak nur maximal fünf Prozent

Feuchthaltemittelanteil enthalten darf. Seitdem der Zoll 2004 begann, die Einfuhr von

gegen diese Richtlinie verstoßendem Tabak zu unterbinden, gibt es speziellen Tabak für

den deutschen Markt. Dieser wird von den Rauchern meist nachträglich mit Glycerin aus

der Apotheke oder mit eigens im Laden oder Internetversand erhältlicher Melasse

befeuchtet, was aber meist nicht dieselbe Qualität hervorbringt wie Tabak, dem bereits

bei der Produktion Feuchthaltemittel zugegeben wird.

 Einige Raucher versuchen sich seither auch an der Eigenproduktion.


Die Wasserpfeifenkohle (auch Fachma genannt) ist meist Holzkohle ohne Zusätze wie

Petroleum. Man unterscheidet zwei Arten: Es gibt zum einen selbstzündende

Kohletabletten, die geringe Mengen Schwarzpulver enthalten und so mit Hilfe eines

Feuerzeugs angezündet werden können und je nach Art etwa 30 bis 90 Minuten glühen.

Diese Kohletabletten besitzen in der Regel einen Einheitsdurchmesser von 33 oder 40


Als Alternative kann sogenannte Naturkohle verwendet werden. Diese besteht häufig aus

gepressten Kokosnussschalen (Cococha) mit einem sehr hohen Heizwert. Andere Arten

von Naturkohle werden aus Orangen- oder Olivenbaumholz gewonnen. Diese Kohlearten

sind meist schwefelfrei und besitzen eine Stabform. Da die Kokoskohlen kein

Schwarzpulver enthalten, lassen sie sich nicht durch ein bloßes Feuerzeug, sondern nur

durch Gebrauch eines Kohleofens anzünden. Kokoskohle brennt länger und ermöglicht,

die entstehende Hitze besser zu regulieren.


Eine Shisha entspricht im Aufbau einer chemischen Waschflasche. Sie besteht aus

mindestens vier Teilen: einem Gefäß, einer Rauchsäule, einem Topf und einem Schlauch.

Das Gefäß wird Bowl oder Vase genannt. Es ist häufig verziert und besteht aus Glas,

Metall oder Acryl. Auf das Wassergefäß wird die Rauchsäule gesteckt oder geschraubt.

Sie ist im allgemeinen aus Metall, das mit Chrom oder Messing beschichtet wurde und

ebenfalls verziert sein kann. Manche Rauchsäulen sind auch aus Holz gefertigt, was

jedoch den Nachteil bergen kann, dass sie nach einer Weile die Feuchtigkeit aufnehmen

und dadurch zu riechen beginnen kann. Auf die Rauchsäule wird der Topf bzw. Kopf

gesetzt. Es handelt sich dabei um ein kleines Gefäß aus Ton oder Metall, das an seiner

Unterseite Löcher aufweist. An der Rauchsäule befindet sich mindestens ein

„Rauchanschluss“ für einen Schlauch. Es gibt auch Shishas mit mehreren

Rauchanschlüssen. Moderne Shishas besitzen außerdem ein einfaches Druckventil an der

Rauchsäule, um „schlechten Rauch“ auspusten zu können. Der Schlauch einer Shisha

besteht oft aus Leder, Kautschuk oder Kunststoff.

Es gibt viele Shisha-Varianten: Zerlegbare Rauchsäulen, Ablageteller, andere Materialien

und vieles mehr. Die Größe der zusammengesetzten Shisha ist sehr unterschiedlich. In

Shisha-Cafés werden meistens Pfeifen mit Höhen von 60 bis 90 Zentimetern angeboten.

Auch sogenannte Mini-Shishas mit einer Höhe von bis zu 40 Zentimetern sind

mittlerweile erhältlich. 


Um eine Shisha zu rauchen, füllt man das Wassergefäß (Bowl) und steckt (oder schraubt)

die Rauchsäule auf seine Öffnung. Das Rohr muss dabei etwa zwei bis drei cm in das

Wasser hineinragen und mit der Gefäßöffnung dicht abschließen. Danach befüllt man den

Tabakkopf, am oberen Ende des Aufsatzes, mit etwa 5 bis 10 Gramm Wasserpfeifentabak

(siehe oben: Wasserpfeifentabak), wichtig dabei ist, dass mindestens ein halber

Zentimeter Abstand zwischen Tabak und Alufolie gelassen wird, damit der Tabak nicht

verbrennt. Den gefüllten Tabak-Topf deckt man mit mehrfach gefalteter, gelochter

Alufolie ab. Meistens ist im Lieferumfang der Shisha auch ein Metallsieb enthalten,

welches eine Alternative zur Alufolie ist. Auf die Alufolie legt man ein Stück glühender

Wasserpfeifenkohle. Die Kohle kann bei nicht-aromatisierten Tabaken direkt auf den

Tabak gelegt werden. Durch die glühende Kohle wird die im Wasserpfeifentabak

enthaltene Feuchtigkeit mit den Aromastoffen erhitzt und verdampft. Durch Saugen am

Mundstück entsteht in der Flasche ein Unterdruck, der durch den blubbernden Rauch aus

dem Rohr ausgeglichen wird. Der Wasserpfeifentabak wird also nicht direkt verbrannt,

sondern eher ausgedünstet. Aufgrund des langen Weges durch das Metallrohr, das

Wasser und den Schlauch ist der aromatisierte Rauch kühl und viel angenehmer als der

Tabakrauch einer Zigarette oder einer Tabakspfeife. Dieser Effekt kann noch verstärkt

werden, indem Eis ins Wasser der Bowl gegeben wird oder die Bowl in einen Eimer mit

Eiswürfeln gestellt wird. Einige Shishas besitzen auch spezielle Behälter direkt an der

Rauchsäule zur Eiszufuhr 

Das Gefäß kann auch mit anderen (meist alkoholhaltigen) Flüssigkeiten, zum Beispiel Whiskey oder Rotwein gefüllt werden. Dies soll, bei alkoholhaltigen Flüssigkeiten, einen

besonderen Rausch hervorrufen, aber auch positive Auswirkungen auf den Geschmack haben. 

Um Naturkohle zum Glühen zu bringen eignet sich ein Camping-Gaskocher oder ein

kleiner Lötbrenner. Im Fachhandel sind aber auch spezielle, elektrische Kohleanzünder

erhältlich. Naturkohle brennt etwa 90 Minuten. 

Schädlichkeit des Shisharauchens

Die Schädlichkeit und die Auswirkungen der Shisha auf die Gesundheit sind umstritten.

Da die Wasserpfeife grundsätzlich zum Tabakrauchen dient, birgt der Shisha-Konsum die für Tabakprodukte typischen Gefahren; durch Zusatzstoffe im Tabak könnten diese noch

verstärkt werden. Da der wassergekühlte Rauch sich leichter inhalieren lässt, kann er besonders für unerfahrene Raucher wie Kinder und Jugendliche gefährlich sein und die

Shisha zum Einstiegsmittel in den Nikotinkonsum werden lassen. Die Mehrheit der Schadstoffe wird auch nur zu einem kleinen Teil vom Wasser zurückgehalten. Im Tabak

enthaltenes oder selbst zur Befeuchtung hinzugefügtes Glycerin zerfällt bei Erhitzen

unter Sauerstoffmangel zum hochgiftigen Propenal, welches jedoch wasserlöslich ist und

deshalb größtenteils vom Wasser absorbiert wird. Daneben lassen sich je nach Größe der

Rauchsäule unterschiedliche Nikotin- und Kondensat-Rückstände in ihr finden, was von

manchen Shisha-Rauchern als Indiz für das geringe Verlangen nach Tabakwaren nach

dem Genuss einer Shisha gedeutet wird.

 In einer Studie vom April 2004 zitiert das Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR)

darüber hinaus Studien, denen zufolge die aufgenommenen Schadstoffmengen teilweise

sogar größer seien als bei filterlosen Zigaretten. Die Wasserpfeife gibt die gleiche Menge

an Nikotin ab wie eine gewöhnliche Zigarette. Der Raucher einer Wasserpfeife nimmtaber im Vergleich mehr Kohlenmonoxid und fast die zwanzigfache Menge an Teer aufAnzumerken ist aber, dass das BfR hier den Rauch einer Zigarette ohne Filter mit demRauch einer gesamten Shishasitzung (100 bis 170 Züge) verglichen hat. Im Rauch derWasserpfeife wurden Schadstoffe wie Arsen, Chrom und Nickel nachgewiesen, die zuLungenkrebs, Blasenkrebs und Tumoren an den Lippen führen können. Nachlangjährigem Konsum von Wasserpfeifen ließen sich außerdem Verschlechterungen der Lungenfunktion sowie ein erhöhtes Risiko von Tumorerkrankungen feststellen. DieGefährlichkeit des Shisharauchens sei kaum geringer als die von Zigarettenkonsum Untersuchungen der Universität Jeddah (Saudi Arabien) zufolge ist Wasserpfeifentabak fast so gesundheitsgefährdend wie das Rauchen von Zigaretten. Hier ist aber zuerwähnen, dass in arabischen Ländern hauptsächlich starker Tabak mit neutralem Geschmack (Salloumtabak) geraucht und die Kohle direkt aufgelegt wird. Da die Shishagewöhnlich nicht so häufig wie Zigaretten konsumiert wird, wird die Gefahr ein wenig kleiner, da die Schadstoffe, die sich auch in der Lunge absetzen, abgebaut werdenkönnen.


Trotz dieser leichten methodischen Schwächen der Studien, die nicht alle Varianten des Konsums abdecken, kann die frühere Einschätzung der Ungefährlichkeit eindeutig als widerlegt gelten

 Shisharauchen im Orient


    Café in Diyarbakır, 1909.

 C afé in Diyarbakır, 1909.

 Traditionell wird das Shisharauchen zelebriert, sodass es als etwas Besonderes erscheint. So werden zu festlichen Anlässen oder an Tagen, an denen viele Freunde zusammenkommen, Shishas konsumiert. Um das Vergnügen noch zu steigern, werdenwährend des Shisharauchens Speisen und Getränke eingenommen. In den orientalischen Ländern wird zu Shisha oft Tee getrunken, vor allem, da der Tee den Geschmack im Mund etwas neutralisiert, um den Geschmack der Shisha bei jedem Zug erneut voll zu spüren. Auch, um das eben genannte Hungergefühl zu dämpfen, werden beim Shisharauchen häufig kleine Speisen wie Kekse, türkische Süßigkeiten oder gar vollwertige Mahlzeiten verzehrt. Außerdem wird die Shisha oft in möglichst bequemen Räumen auf Kissen oder Teppichen konsumiert, auch Liegen oder Matratzen sind beliebt, um sich anschließend noch zu entspannen oder zu schlafen.

Shis hakultur in Deutschland

Zunehmend etabliert sich das Shisharauchen in der deutschen Jugendkultur. Eswird oft zur gemütlichen Konversation („Chillen“) in Bars und Cafes verwendet oderdank der Transportfähigkeit auch zu Partys oder Picknicks mitgenommen. In vielen größeren Städten eröffneten sogenannte Shisha-Bars oder Cafés, die neben normalen Getränken und Snacks auch Shishas bereitstellen. Außerdem gibt es inzwischenviele Läden, die Shishas und Zubehör verkaufen - allerdings oft mit minderer QualitätNach einer Studie des BZgA rauchen 14 Prozent der Jugendlichen in Deutschland mindestens ein Mal im Monat Wasserpfeife. Kritiker wie Gesundheitsexperten sprechenbereits von einer Einstiegdroge und vergleichen den Trend mit Alcopops [1]


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