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general info SHISHA (HUBBLY-BUBBLY)
Shisha (hubbly-bubbly)
Updated on 28 May 2015

As you travel around Dubai you will often see people smoking shisha, and if the sweet, fruity smell has got you intrigued, here's a quick overview to tell you what it's all about.

What is it?
Shisha is a water pipe used to smoke tobacco through cooled water. The tobacco is heated by charcoal at the top and inhaled through a water chamber at the bottom. Shisha pipes date back over 500 years and their origins are still heavily debated.

What's in it?
Shisha mu'assel is a syrupy mix of tobacco, binding agent (molasses, honey, treacle, sugar or vegetable glycerol) and fruit flavouring. Typical flavours include apple, mint, mango, strawberry, grape, melon and a variety of fruit based mixes.
Contrary to popular belief, shisha is smoked for the flavour and enjoyment, and not for any kind of effect.

What's it all about?
Smoking shisha is about socialising and has been part of life in the Middle East for centuries. Shisha cafés are full of friendly conversations, with both men and women equally taking part, and in places where alcohol is not allowed, you will find shisha being used to lubricate a social gathering. Shisha is also becoming increasingly popular in the West and you will find shisha pipes in homes and restaurants around the world.

What you need to know!
Smoking shisha is a leisurely, sociable activity that lasts about an hour (unlike a cigarette that usually takes a couple of minutes). According to the World Health Organisation, the volume of smoke inhaled in an hour-long session is the equivalent of smoking around 100 cigarettes. Findings show a smoker will inhale half a litre of smoke per cigarette, while a shisha smoker can take between a sixth and a litre of smoke per inhale. Some of the nicotine is absorbed in the water, but this leads to people smoking more to experience the same effect, therefore inhaling more carbon monoxide, heavy metals, tar and carcinogens.
Remember that shisha contains tobacco and is therefore linked to the same life-threatening illnesses as cigarettes.

USEFUL TIPS
Although we don't condone smoking, this is part of the Arabic culture, and shisha may be one of the things you try during your stay.

To help you fit in, here are some useful tips:
• Only use specially prepared shisha tobacco
• Occasionally blow into the pipe to get rid of the smoke building up in the water chamber
• Replace the water if smoking for longer than an hour
• Don't inhale too deeply
• Shisha is no substitute for cigarettes, don't switch to shisha if you're trying to give up
• Share your shisha, it will give you a break
• If you do try it, limit it to occasional use; it's meant to be sociable!

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