Upon reading recent letters and articles about hookah bars and smoking hookah from citizens who are only looking out for the public good I wish to retaliate with these remarks.
First off I have been smoking hookah for about a year. I have been to the bars in town as well as in my home of Southern California and I also now own my own hookah. Each time I go to smoke and hang out with friends and meet new people. Hookah is meant to be a social activity and, because I am unable to go to bars with alcohol (I am 20) I go to the hookah bars about once a week.
In response to some accusations about secondhand smoke presented with having a social tobacco tasting bar I ask of you to look more into the facts. Because of the city’s pressure on the hookah bars they have been required to update their ventilation systems. During last spring exhaust fans were made to move a high volume of air/smoke out of the room. This exhaust is then routed out of the building and then dispensed over the roofs, therefore greatly reducing the presence of second hand smoke. Furthermore hookah smoking is another alternative to the consumption of alcohol.
I also did some research into the heath risks presented by smoking hookah. The only article I could find was done by the World Health Organization and they provided very little research – in fact the purpose of the article was to attract more funding for more research. They did however say that people who smoke hookah believe it is safe for your body because they have been brainwashed by marketing. I would contest that the surgeon general’s warning and the amount of anti-smoking education given to us allows patrons to be aware that the smoking is not good for you. I acknowledge this the same as manufactured sugars (such as in diet drinks) are a cause of cancers, yet we still use them.
My political beliefs are such that I do not believe government should tell me to stop doing anything as long as I am not endangering others. However, we should also be warned about the effects this activity can cause – this is done so by the surgeon general’s warning applied to all tobacco products. Therefore, these bars should be regulated in a similar way to how they are now. Provide adequate exhaust, have a visible surgeon general’s warning, and check for the age of the consumer. And before you continue to frown upon this growing culture I would encourage you to visit a hookah bar, not to smoke (that is your choice), but to talk to people about this and see for yourself what it is about.