Hookah lounges, the nightlife attraction you need to learn about

From its origins in the Middle East, hookah lounges are a growing attraction with customers throughout the United States.
Myesha Jones, a hookahtender, demonstrates the hookah at Jack's Hookah Lounge Friday, Aug. 13, 2021,
Myesha Jones, a hookahtender, demonstrates the hookah at Jack's Hookah Lounge Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, / SCOTT P. YATES/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR

Nightlife throughout the United States continues to change. New types of venues pop up left and right, with different themes, music styles, and attractions. In recent years, hookah lounges continue to bloom in popularity, growing from a cultural staple to a venue that boasts a more diverse and perhaps gentrified customer base as more people learn about it.

As cigarette use continues to drop throughout the United States, hookah has developed into a tobacco use that is slowly taking its place. For those who don’t know, hookah is a type of smoking that involves tobacco which is smoked through a water pipe that is heated by coals at the top of the pipe. These pipes are equipped with hoses and tips that are usually passed around in groups hanging out around a table.

Hookah smoking has become a social activity thanks to the prevalence of lounges offering a variety of flavors and settings. Throw in food and liquor, and these locations are becoming a full-on attraction within the nightlife industry. These venues are often the kickoff point to a night out, or the spot of choice to bring one to an end.

As the popularity of hookah lounges grows, so are concerns about the health issues linked to smoking tobacco. Research around the prolonged use of hookah is still developing, but one thing is clear – it’s not harmless. Some research is pointing to data to support the claim that smoking hookah is more harmful than smoking cigarettes. As with anything else, there are also growing concerns about the addictive potential of hookah and it being a “gateway” to other substances.

Hookah lounges are popping up in major cities throughout the United States. The cultural practice that started in the Middle East has become a popular social activity and continues to grow as more venues open.

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