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by Wade Hill
August 20, 2017
Move in weekend has come and gone, and classes for some have already started. College is back, and you know what that means - hookah! College is a wonderful place where many people are exposed to hookah for the first time, whether it be at a party, a lounge, or just hanging out with friends. With new smokers, comes new mistakes, too. Everyone makes mistakes when they first start smoking, but here at HookahHeroes, we try to make everyone's hookah experience as awesome as possible. So, whether you're new to the hobby, you're starting to get interested, a seasoned vet who's showing new people the hobby we all love so much, or even if you haven't smoked at all yet - here is my list for the top five things to keep in mind when you're a new hookah smoker.
#5 - Stay Hydrated
To any veterans, this seems like a no brainer, but to new smokers, this may be something they're unaware of. When smoking, especially as a new smoker, you want to make sure that you're staying hydrated when you're smoking. Smoking while you're dehydrated is the number one cause of nicotine poisoning, or "hookah sickness", as many refer to it. You can become lightheaded, and some even pass out. I myself have fallen to this before, though I was lucky enough to have a dear friend save me before I hit the ground (shout out to HookahChef, you da best). Hookah Sickness can be a big turnoff for many new smokers, so even if you know this, if you're showing new people hookah, make sure that you're informing them of this as well. Don't get cocky, and make sure you stay hydrated, otherwise you're going to have a bad time.
#4 - Use a Mouth-Tip
Since hoses are generally shared between people, if you're in an environment where you're unfamiliar with those that are smoking, try and get a mouth-tip if you can. Mouth-tips are generally cheap, and if you're going to a party where everyone and their sister is smoking from a hose, you want to make sure that you're not getting someone else's germs. You can invest in a reusable mouth tip, like the B2 mouth-tips, or you can buy a bag of disposable mouth-tips for relatively cheap. Regardless of what you decide, it's generally a good investment, whether you're going to a lounge, or a party where you don't know everyone. If you're at a lounge, don't be afraid to ask for them, as they're generally readily available, and there's no shame in asking.
It's worth mentioning also, I don't think it's really prudent to use mouth-tips if you're just smoking with friends, unless you have exceptionally dirty friends, or unless someone is sick. Generally, I'm comfortable enough around my friends to where I don't feel like I need to use mouth-tips, but that's ultimately your decision to make at the end of the day.
#3 - Don't be Afraid to Call it Quits for the Night
Pride is a dangerous thing, especially as a new hookah smoker. If you're starting to feel light headed, or nauseous, don't be afraid to call it quits. No one will judge you for looking out for yourself if you have to pass on the hose for a while. If it's in your best interest to stop smoking, don't hesitate to stop. Every smoker has been there, and there's no shame in knowing your limits as a hookah smoker. If your friends are egging you on to keep smoking after you say no, maybe you should reconsider your friends.
#2 - Avoid Quicklites
Another thing that's common knowledge to veteran smokers - quicklites. They're easy to light, but they provide you with a subpar session. They don't last long, they have igniters in them to help them light, and they're generally poorly made. The igniters are the biggest thing though - these aren't exactly safe to inhale, and most quicklite coals aren't lit all the way, so if you're smoking with these, you're bound to inhale some. If you can, ask for natural coconut coals, like Titaniums, and you'll have a longer lasting and cleaner smoke. Quicklites are an easy way to get CO2 poisoning, and the easiest way to ruin an otherwise great session. Stick with natural coconut coals, and you'll be golden.
#1 - Have Fun!
The absolute most important thing in any hookah session, whether you're a new smoker or a veteran alike, is to have fun. As Reggie, from Nintendo says, "If it's not fun, why bother?" True words to live by, and especially when it comes to hookah. If the session isn't fun, or you aren't enjoying smoking, then stop! Try to fix the session, and try to make it fun. If you're the veteran smoker showing people hookah for the first time, make sure that you do your best to make it a fun session for everyone, even if it means laying off the Tangiers for a session or two. A persons first impressions on hookah are crucial, and if they aren't having fun, they aren't going to want to enjoy this hobby that we all know and love.
Hopefully this list helps you, whether you're a new smoker, you're wanting to try hookah for the first time, or even a veteran smoker. Make sure that you're enjoying your hookah, and I think that this list has a few things that can help you achieve that goal. I wish I knew some of these things when I started smoking, as it would've made some of my sessions worlds better than they were. What do you think? Is there anything that I missed on this list? Is there anything that you would've added? Did this list help you at all? Let me know in the comments below! And don't be afraid to share this blog to anyone who may need it - while I try to reach anyone that may need this help, I'm not omnipotent, and that's where you come in. If you have a friend who's struggling with hookah, don't be afraid to send them here, and we'll make sure that they get the best hookah session that they can. Because at the end of the day, that's what we all want - for everyone to enjoy their smoking. As always guys, thank you so much for reading, and happy smokes!
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