A typical hookah (or waterpipe) is made of 4 components: a head, body, water bowl and one or more hoses. Shisha, the mixture being smoked, is heated with charcoal in the head of the hookah and the smoke passes through the base to the water bowl and is smoked through the hoses.

Hookah (water-pipe) use in Canada is on the rise. According to the Youth Smoking Survey 2012-2013, 9% of youth (approximately 231,000) in Grades 6-12, reported having ever tried water-pipe tobacco (also known as shisha, hookah, narguile), and 3% (approximately 87,000) reported such use during the last 30 days, representing an increase from 2010-2011 (6% and 2% respectively).

Because there is a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that hookah smoking poses a public health concern and that any type of emissions from water-pipes - whether tobacco based or not – are dangerous both to users and to those exposed to them secondhand, ACT recommends that all public indoor use of water-pipes – whatever the material heated/combusted in them – be banned under the NL Smoke Free Environment Act, 2005. ACT's entire position statement on this issue can be found here.

The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit has developed an excellent summary of the Hookah issue, as well as a comprehensive information sheet.