A hookah is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco whose vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin often glass based before inhalation. There are two theories regarding the origin of the hookah. The first is that the waterpipe was invented in India, possibly during the era of the Mughal Empire alternatively, it could originate inSafvid dynasty of Persia from where it eventually spread to the east into India during that time. The hookah or Argyleh soon reached Egypt and the Levant during the Ottoman dynasty from neighbouring Safavid dynasty, where it became very popular and where the mechanism was later perfected. The word hookah is a derivative of “huqqa”, a Hindustani term. Outside its native region, hookah smoking has gained popularity throughout the world, especially among younger people, largely due to immigrants from the Levant, where it is especially popular.


Tobacco leaves are harvested and aged using a process that combines use of heat and shade to reduce sugar and water content without causing the bigger leaves to rot. This first part of the process, called curing, takes between 25 and 45 days and varies substantially based upon climatic conditions as well as the construction of sheds or barns used to store harvested tobacco. The curing process is manipulated based upon the type of tobacco, and the desired color of the leaf. The second part of the process, called fermentation, is carried out under conditions designed to help the leaf dry slowly. Temperature and humidity are controlled to ensure that the leaf continues to ferment, without rotting or disintegrating. This is where the flavor, burning, and aroma characteristics are primarily brought out in the leaf.

Once the leaves have aged properly, they are sorted for use as filler or wrapper based upon their appearance and overall quality. During this process, the leaves are continually moistened and handled carefully to ensure each leaf is best used according to its individual qualities. The leaf will continue to be baled, inspected, un-baled, re-inspected, and baled again repeatedly as it continues the aging cycle. When the leaf has matured according to the manufacturer’s specifications, it will be used in the production of a cigar.

Quality cigars are still handmade. An experienced cigar-roller can produce hundreds of very good, nearly identical, cigars per day. The rollers keep the tobacco moist — especially the wrapper — and use specially designed crescent-shaped knives, called chavetas, to form the filler and wrapper leaves quickly and accurately. Once rolled, the cigars are stored in wooden forms as they dry, in which their uncapped ends are cut to a uniform size. From this stage, the cigar is a complete product that can be “laid down” and aged for decades if kept as close to 21 °C (70 °F), and 70% relative humidity, as the environment will allow. Once cigars have been purchased, proper storage is usually accomplished by keeping the cigars in a specialized wooden box, or humidor, where conditions can be carefully controlled for long periods of time. Even if a cigar becomes dry, it can be successfully re-humidified so long as it has not been handled carelessly and done so gradually. The loss of original tobacco oils, however, will greatly affect the taste.


An electronic cigarette is a battery-powered vaporizer which simulates the feeling of smoking, but without burning tobacco. The three main types of e-cigarettes are cigalikes, eGos, and MODs. Their use is commonly called “vaping”. The user activates the e-cigarette by taking a puff or pressing a button. They are often cylindrical, but come in many variations. Some look like traditional cigarettes. Most are reusable but there are also disposable versions called first generation cigalikes. There are also second, third, and fourth generation devices. Instead of cigarette smoke, the user inhales an aerosol, commonly called vapor. E-cigarettes typically have a heating element that atomizes a liquid solution known as e-liquid. E-liquids usually contain propylene glycol, glycerin, water, nicoine, and flavorings. The nicotine in liquids can range from 0-18mg/ml. Depending on how strong the nicotine is, the easier it is to become addicted. Nicotine levels that are smaller can also help with those who are attempting to quit smoking, which is one of the main reasons e-cigarettes are used. E-liquids are also sold without propylene glycol, without nicotine, or without flavors. The benefits and the health risks of e-cigarettes are uncertain. There is tentative evidence that they can help people quit smoking, but they have not been proven better than regulated medication. As of 2014, their usefulness in tobacco harm reduction is unclear, but they have a potential to be part of the strategy to decrease tobacco related death and disease. Their safety risk to users is similar to that of smokeless tobacco Regulated US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nicotine replacement pruducts are safer than e-cigarettes, but e-cigarettes are probably safer than smoking.