Make sure the charcoal your using is not crumbly before lighting it or you'll have trouble transferring it from the charcoal pan to the pipe.
Light the charcoal outside or in the kitchen. This will prevent your living room filling up with unwanted charcoal smoke. This will also protect your carpet in the unlikely event the charcoal sparks allot.
Ensure the shisha pipe is stable before placing the charcoal. It’s a good idea to place the pipe on a hard flat surface such as a large tile available from any DIY store. If you have expensive carpets you may want to place a thick cotton sheet around the smoking area in case you knock the pipe over.

Hookah Shisha Tips

Here are answers to frequently asked questions. If you don’t find it here, please be sure to contact us.
How do I set up my hookah pipe?
Is Smoking a Hookah Harmful?
I'm new to hookah smoking, how easy is it to get started?
What size hookah should I consider?
How often should I clean my hookah?
How long does the flavoured tobacco/molasses last?
How long will one hookah bowl of shisha last?
How long will one charcoal last?
How many bowls worth are in each pack of tobacco/molasses?
My hookah doesn't seem to be smoking right. What do I do?
What is the difference between smoking hookah tobacco and smoking cigarettes?
How do I set up my hookah pipe ?
For a walk through on setting up your hookah pipe please click here.

We’re here to help and advise, but if you have any recommendations please do contact us so we can share them with fellow enthusiasts.

Is Smoking a Hookah Harmful?
Technically speaking yes, although its argued with shisha tobacco not being processed and most of it semi dried fruit smoking with shisha tobacco thought to be not as potent as cigarettes and cigars. The water takes away many of the harmful chemicals (excluding THC), and so a pipe contains merely 0.5% nicotine and 0% tar. Also, if its not inhaled, there reduced chances of lung cancer. Many of the toxic chemicals from cigarettes and cigars are released due to the tobacco being on “fire” it is also though since shisha is heated rather than burnt less of the carcinogenic chemicals are not released in as high concentrations.

I'm new to hookah smoking, how easy is it to get started?
Getting started is actually very simple. If you’re new to hookah pipe you may want to purchase a beginners kit so you can get started without looking for all the bits and pieces separately. See our hookah help section on how to set up and use your hookah.

What size hookah should I consider?
Any size is suitable for smoking. The taller the pipe the longer the smoke has time to cool and mix with air, but you’ll get a good smoke from any size pipe. The average pipe size is 60-75 cm to the top of the clay bowl. If you usually smoke with friends you can purchase a large multi hose hookah so you don’t have to wait several minutes to get your go.

How often should I clean my hookah?
For best results the pipe should be cleaned each smoking session. If you use several bowls of tobacco in one sitting you may wish to change the water in the bottle when swapping flavours. Clean the pipe (stem) with a soft hookah cleaning brush and very carefully funnel clear hot water through the pipe If you use a chemical based cleaning fluid ensure you have flushed it out thoroughly with water. Never use hot water to rinse out your leather hose ! For more help on cleaning your pipe, please visit our how to clean page.

How long does the flavoured tobacco/molasses last?
Shisha is a special blend of fresh tobacco leaves, fruit pulp, and molasses or honey. From production the tobacco can be stored for up to 2 years. See the packaging for a use by date or more commonly the manufacture date.

How long will one hookah bowl of shisha last?
Each bowl lasts approximately 30-45 minutes but some brands can smoke for 1.5 hours per bowl.

How long will one charcoal last?
Each charcoal lasts approximately 20-30 minutes.

How many bowls in each pack of shisha?
In a 50g pack there are approximately four to six average bowls worth.
In a 250g pack there are approximately twenty to thirty bowls.
In a 500g Carton there are ten individual 50g packs, approximately forty to sixty bowls.

My hookah doesn't seem to be smoking right. What do I do?
1. Check your bowl. The most common mistake is packing the shisha too tightly. Make sure that you break the shisha apart and lightly sprinkle it into the bowl to the top. Don't fill it past the top because you'll be packing the shisha when you cover it with a metal screen or foil.

2. Check your charcoal. If the charcoal is covered with ash, there may not be enough heat getting to the shisha. Use your tongs to tap the charcoal ash off into your hookah tray and place the red charcoal back on your head.

3. Check your gaskets. Make sure that all of the components of the hookah are fitting nicely together. A snug fit will make the smoke flow more efficiently. You may check for a burnt gasket. Some hookahs expose the gasket and are easily burnt by charcoal that is moved around in the tray.

4. Check your hoses. If you have multiple hoses, make sure that all ends are plugged properly. For example, if you have two or three hoses on your hookah and there is only one person smoking, you'll need to remove the hoses and use rubber stoppers or tape to block the hose holes. For full instructions please see our how to set up page.

What is the difference between smoking hookah tobacco and smoking cigarettes?
All major shisha manufacturers have nicotine listed at 0.5% and tar listed at 0.0%. On a pack of Marlboro Full Flavour 100's Filter Soft Pack, there is 16 miligrams of tar and 1.2 miligrams of nicotine (these numbers are listed on the philip moriss website, www.philipmorris.com). Most cigarettes contain over 2.0% in nicotine. "Among the findings, Marlboro had as much as 9.6 percent freebase nicotine; Camel contained 2.7 percent; Winston had 5 percent to 6.2 percent; and Gauloises Blondes was found to have 5.7 percent to 7.5 percent." ("'Freebase' Nicotine Thought to Make Cigarettes More Addictive " 30 July. 2003. www.nacsonline.com.(26 August. 2004))

Although there is no tar and less nicotine, Hookah smoking is still smoking. Please be aware of the risks of tobacco before choosing to start smoking.