If you surf the web looking for news or information about Shisha and Hookah, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a huge movement to have everyone with a pipe arrested. The way some enforcement agencies are attempting to use all kinds of laws to shut down lounges, it’s as if it poses some threat to world peace.
Why is this?
The Smoking Ban
The use of shisha pipes has seen an increase over the past decade and many say that the almost worldwide ban on smoking in public places has probably fuelled this rise. Why is that?
Cigarettes used to be common. During the war they were used as currency, even wages for the troops and then they became ‘cool’ during the 50s and 60s. Some people who didn’t generally smoke during the day would call themselves “social smokers”, in other words, they only smoked when with others, usually on a night out.
As the health worries about cigarettes became more prevalent during the 70s and 80s, bars and clubs would begin to phase out smoking in certain areas. Eventually, some food establishments would ban them all together and then finally, the law changed, and it’s now illegal to smoke on any public premises.
Smoking lost its ‘cool’ and what was once a very social experience became extremely anti-social.
But people still want to socialise, and not everyone wants to drink, so shisha lounges became the acceptable place to smoke and be social. They still had to follow the same laws, so you’ll only see people smoking outside, but they are, in most cases, very social affairs.
It follows, then, that if people experience shisha in a lounge, they’re going to want to take that experience home with them. Hence, owning a hookah is now more widespread.
Of course, it has to start somewhere, and many take up the smoking of shisha when they first become students. It’s cheaper to smoke a pipe than it is to go out and get drunk every night, so it makes sense.
The health risks
Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s still tobacco and you still need to smoke in moderation. There are many myths about shisha, many saying that it’s healthier than smoking cigarettes, but they’re just not true.
But surely this isn’t why people are attempting to close them down?
No, if you dig deeper, it’s simply prejudice.
Shisha lounges are new. Many councillors don’t know what goes on in them (spoiler: people smoke shisha, have a coffee and maybe some cake) and so they fear them.
This is a ridiculous state of affairs and one that will probably only go away when more of them open up.
So, be proud of your hookah pipe, enjoy your shisha and send a clear message to those in power – we’re just enjoying a relaxing smoke. Maybe come and try it?