Its actual origins are still debatable, however it is commonly believed that the hookah we know today has been invented around the 15th century AD in India or Persia and it was initially used to smoke other substances than tobacco. Other countries like Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran are still crafting the product today and they also want to be credited as the fathers of this popular device.
The name 'shisha' comes either from the Persian word 'shishe' - which means glass, or from the Arabic word 'Hashishe' - which means grass (a reference for tobacco). In Turkey and other parts of the world it is called a 'nargile', which derives from the Persian word 'nargil' - or coconut, since it's believed the first devices were made from coconut shells. But the word 'hoohak' probably comes from the Arabic word 'uqqa', which means a jar, a pot, or a small box.
Hookahs as we know them are extremely popular in the Middle East and Arabic countries, where they contribute to the daily social aspect of the people's lives. They usually come with one or multiple hoses and they are often share among men at small get-togethers and they are offered in the majority of coffee shops.
In the United States, and Canada, hookahs were particularly popular in the 60's and 70's when they were used to smoke various tobacco derivatives. Nowadays they are available for sale at a majority of smoke shops all across the country, but also can be enjoyed in a variety of hookah cafes. However, with the series of recently implemented smoking bans, cafe owners had to either close doors or switch to non-tobacco mixtures such as fruity and herbal flavors.
However, with the introduction and constantly growing popularity of e-cigarettes, new alternatives have become available to take the old hookah and turn it into something worthy of the 21st century. Besides the growing demand for e-hookahs (electronic devices that work with e-liquid and mimic the functionality of a traditional water pipe from the vapor to the sound of the bubbling water) we've also noticed a series of products designed to work with any hookah and replace the tobacco and charcoal with safer alternatives such as a battery powered heating element and an e-juice tank.
Now just imagine how it would be like to share your favorite e-liquids with your friends at a party and experience the best of both worlds - hookahs and e-cigarettes. This is now possible thanks to a range of products called E-Hookah Bowls.
An e-hookah bowl is designed to sit on top of a traditional hookah and to replace the original bowl destined for the charcoal and tobacco with an electronic alternative that's battery powered and rechargeable. Many of these devices come with a touch screen and a refillable e-liquid tank and the all the parts can be dissembled for easy cleaning.
One such e-hookah bowl is called the Amanoo E Hookah Head, a device that sells for around $90-100 and is used to replace the fire, chemicals and tobacco with a cleaner e-liquid alternative. It is powered by a 2,400mAh internal battery and it comes with a tank capacity of 10ml. It can be charged via the provided adapter or USB and it can deliver up to 1,500puffs per session. It features variable voltage from 3.20V - to 6.00V in order to increase or decrease the quantity of vapor.
The Amanoo E Hookah Head is very easy to fill and use and you simply need to place it on top of your hookah (you do need to have a hookah in order to use the product). It is automatically activated each time you take a puff and adjusting the voltage is done with great ease by pressing on the (+) or (-) buttons. A generous display will always show the current voltage, remaining battery, and the number of puffs. Inside the box you are going to get the E Hookah Head, the 10ml tank, a wall charger, and a user's manual. A spare tank sells for around $10 and a replacement coil is about $6, so you're looking at a very good deal. You can use it with any of your favorite e-liquids.
Another similar device that's ready to use outside the box and fits on top of any hookah is the Square E-Head. This comes in three different colors (red, blue, and grey) and it is also powered by a 2,400mAh internal battery. It does look a bit different than the Amanoo version, but it also features a touchscreen display and variable voltage between 3.2 - 6.0V. The LED display shows the current voltage, the remaining battery, puff counter and inhale timer.
The Square E-Head comes with two 8.0 ml tanks inside the box, and a session can last for as long as 1,800 puffs, depending on the voltage. It also comes with a wall charger and a user's manual.
Besides these two, there are different other hookah electronic products that can revolutionize the way you puff out these delicious clouds. You only have to swap the flavored tobacco with some cleaner e-liquid and it's ready to go, so what are you waiting for?