Shooting Site's "Smoking" Lounge for Multi Cultural Interaction Trending Across the U.S. near Campus

Updated 1 year ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor

Shooting Site's "Smoking" Lounge for Multi Cultural Interaction Trending Across the U.S. near Campus
Kulture Hookah where seven people were shot early New Year's Day by definition is not a bar. Internet research describes the now college chic experience as a "smoking" cafe, " or a "shisha bar."  Patrons do not smoke cigarettes. Instead. they gather  smoke flavored tobacco  from a communial hookah pipe.

An ancient concept, they originated in India then spread to other Arabic and Asian countries. Many of these bars did not serve alcohol in deference to the Muslim religion.  They have been referred to as "hookah dens" and "shisha bars." An article ("Hookah Bars, air quality and your Health")  in Very Well Mind magazine vetted by a doctor describes  the current trendiness stemming  from a falsehood   --- that  smoking and breathing the so-called  "herbal" tobacco  does not have the effects of nicotine and other chemicals. 

The article adds:

"You might also be able to buy oxygen, which is another unusual offering gaining recreational popularity. The oxygen that is purer than what is ambient air is typically bubbled up through flavored waters to be breathed in for a period of time. Flavorings give the oxygen a pleasing aroma, and fans of oxygen sniffing claim it helps with everything from energy boosts to hangovers."

The first US hookah lounges served coffee and tea in addition to hookah. The first lounge open in Las Vegas and trademarked the "hookah" name.

International decor faded and the US "hookah" became a means of avoiding inside tobacco bans, according to Living Well:

"Young adults have taken to this form of smoking, in part because it's considered to be a unique and acceptable way to socialize with friends, but also because there is a misconception that hookah is a safe way to smoke tobacco. It isn't, and some of the facts about hookah smoking might surprise you."


Researchers from Johns Hopkins studied the air in several hookah bars over a 9 month period. In particular, they measured nicotine and carbon monoxide levels, along with particulate matter in hookah smoke smaller than 2.5 microns.2


Their findings showed that the air in enclosed spaces where hookah is smoked is laden with carbon monoxide and breathable particulate matter from the tobacco smoke in concentrations that are higher than in public spaces where cigarette smoking is allowed. Nicotine content was not as high, but it was measurable. 

Another study surveyed 55 healthy people who abstained from tobacco products for one week. They then spent one night at a hookah establishment.

The results:

"Researchers found that nicotine levels after were as much as 70 times higher than they were before the hookah bar exposure. Additionally, NNAL, which is a nasty carcinogen that is specific to tobacco smoke, was present in participants in twice the amount as before, and VOCs, also hazardous to breathe in, were detected in elevated amounts between 14 and 91 percent."

Ad for Charleston Bar
Ad for Charleston Bar

The C.D.C. states:

Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke specially made tobacco that comes in different flavors, such as apple, mint, cherry, chocolate, coconut, licorice, cappuccino, and watermelon.

Although many users think it is less harmful, hookah smoking has many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking.

Hookah is also called narghile, argileh, shisha, hubble-bubble, and goza," the CDC said. 

US hookah cafes often feature live music , food, and may serve alcohol.

South Charleston has a lounge which opened in 2015. It features music, dart boards, pool tables,  tea and coffee including 24 flavors of hookah. 

The Huntington location has demographically catered to a mix of an "older" crowd and Marshall students with ID's. They have held dress up contests and hip hop music. 

Since hookah is not a cigarette and since alcohol may not be served, these "bars" escape provisions that limit other establishments. A cigar bar is an example of a private club which escapes the cigarette smoke ban.