Nowadays hookah smoking is popular not only in cosmopolitan cities, but also in smaller ones such as Mangalore.
Despite the fact that smaller cities have not so many hookah pubs, the more youth begin to follow this trend.
The administration of the district has banned the use of hookah in bars and pubs in the district, but a lot of stores, based in city, sell flavoured hookah tobacco to the youth and this demonstrates the popularity of this tobacco product among rising generation.
There are over 120 varieties of hookah flavours that are available in the market, however quite a few varieties are sold in shops of Mangalore.
Exotic flavours are considered to give ‘cool’ experience to the hookah smokers. Due to the ban on use of hookahs in the bars, the consumption of these flavours is allowed to those individuals who own a hookah which costs less than Rs 1,500. The youth has a possibility to select from single, double, triple or quadruple hose.
There is wide range of varieties of hookah pastes in the market. Each flavour provides a different smoking experience to the smokers.
A pack of hookah has 500 gram and costs between Rs 60 to Rs 200 depending on the brand. The youth prefer imported flavours especially from the Arab nations more than local flavours. The imported flavours are more expensive and their price begins from Rs 150 per half kg pack.
In accordance with a city based college student, who preferred to be anonyme, due to the ban on the usage of hookahs in the city based bars, the youth start to smoke hookahs at other public places.
He said that the hookah smoking trend in some of the Manipal bars, which indeed established the hookah culture to this region part, is still on.
Hookah preparing is a challenging task and not everybody can prepare it. The person who prepares the best of the hookah is most famous among the circle of hookah smokers.
Standing for the hookah smoking youth, he said that as the nicotine content is relatively less in flavoured hookahs, a large part of youth today stop smoking only to replace it with hookah.
“If a chain smoker gives up smoking and begin smoking hookah, then he will be more protected as he can smoke hookah not every day. Thus, from the daily smoking to occasionally smoking of hookah, the shift in the trend seems better. Besides, the tobacco content in hookah is less compared to cigarette,” he said.