It is 2014 and hookah has been a part of my life for the last 8 years with many years ahead. Looking back after such a long time caused me to wonder why I started and why I continue to this day.  Please read along with my thoughts as I try to give them a bit of order.

I started with hookah as many have in the past and many will in the future. It was a social activity among my group of friends and I wanted to participate. I wanted to share the experience. This may seem like peer pressure, but I assure you that had nothing to do with it. I realized from the beginning that hookah was more about community (see forum for online communities) and shared experience than it was ever about smoking, nicotine or anything else so self-indulgent. Even when I sit alone and relax with my hookah I am comforted in my memories of past sessions, the deep conversations they have fostered and the friends I’ve made. One reason that anyone might smoke hookah is definitely as a social activity.

So, what does that say about my solo sessions? There was a time that I felt lonely and a little sad for sitting down with my hookah while alone. I started to appreciate the time it took to set up my hookah and enjoy the smoke as a bit of “me time”. Nothing else mattered as much as that particular moment and I was able to turn off the noise that usually buzzed in my head. A busy day filled with bothers drifted out the window. The stress would fade away as I concentrated on making each session better than the last, which lead me to explore new kinds of tobacco and accessories that would further enhance my enjoyment.

This brings us to the last reason that I smoke hookah and why I think many people find it so alluring. It’s delicious. The range of flavors and experiences available through a hookah session is massive. I have smoked every type of tobacco from the most modern of candied concoctions to traditional tobacco usually reserved for the smoky dens of Marrakesh. Each one has added a page to my unwritten journal of this flavorful expedition. Hookah is the pastime of many connoisseurs as it offers sublimely unique flavor experiences with notes and nuances that can’t be found anywhere else. Of course there are the ubiquitous flavors like cherry and vanilla that seem to be everywhere, but there are more and more companies making interesting and complex blends that will keep you searching for the right words that will let you explain the flavor to someone else.

In short, people smoke hookah because it’s a great way to share a flavorful experience with old friends and a perfect way to make new ones. For some it was a tradition of their family or culture and others sought it out themselves, but we all keep smoking for the same reasons.