Have you ever thought about trying shisha with your friends? There are many myths surrounding this Middle Eastern activity, and many people find it hard to separate them from the facts. In this blog, we outline everything there is to know about the shisha vs cigarettes debate. So let’s get started!

Shisha Vs. Cigarettes

Shisha refers to a specific style of smoking, with its roots spreading back to India and the Middle East. Also known as a hooka, it is basically a water pipe that allows you to smoke tobacco from a bowl. It is essentially a fancy version of a vape where it uses flavours like fruits, molasses, and sugar. The most popular flavours include mint, apple, cola, and strawberry. In order to create smoke, wood or charcoal is burned in the pipe to heat the tobacco, which adds to the flavour.

Cigarettes, on the other hand, have no such flavouring and are commercially mass-produced. Hooka smoking is a fun activity to do with friends, while cigarette smoking can often time exclude you from non-smoking areas. Cigarettes did not become popularised until the late 1900s during World War II, whereas hookas have been around since the 16th century.

Myths About Shisha Vs Cigarettes

Here are some myths about shisha vs cigarettes:

1.    Shisha Is Safer Than Cigarettes

There has been a myth that shisha is relatively safer to smoke than cigarettes, which is not the case. If anything, it is equally hazardous as a cigarette. The only difference between them is that shisha is smoked in a social setting, while cigarettes are seen as a bad habit.

2.    Hookah Is Colder Than Cigarettes

Since hookah uses a water pipe, many people have the misconception that it is colder than cigarettes, which is not true. Hookah has almost the same level of warmth as cigarettes. The water is only used to infuse the flavour in the smoke.

3.    The Water In Shisha Filters Out The Nicotine

Another myth associated with water in the shisha is that it can filter out the negative effects of nicotine. This is also not factual, as water only filters out a minute amount of nicotine.

4.    Hookah Does Not Contain Tobacco

Perhaps the most common myth about hookah is that it does not contain tobacco. Hookah uses shisha, a kind of tobacco mixed with molasses and pulverised fruit. Thus proving that hookah very much contains tobacco, much like cigarettes.

5.    Shisha Is 100 to 200 Times More Harmful Than Cigarettes

Recently, people have theorised that since shisha is used as a social activity, a person can smoke up to 100 to 200 times more in one sitting than they would in a single cigarette. This is a blatant fallacy.

The question is, “1 hookah = how many cigarettes?” Since multiple people share shisha, it considerably lowers the amount of tobacco.

Shisha Vs Cigarettes Facts

The best shisha vs cigarettes facts stem from the reality that hookah or shisha has been around for a long time. Unlike cigarettes, it has become so rooted in many cultures of the Middle East and South Asia. It symbolises unity, hospitality, and tradition. It also has been linked with wealth and prosperity since high society individuals most commonly smoked it in the olden days.

Hookah bars are sanctuaries that serve as social gathering spots for friends, families, and even strangers. They are great for celebrating big and small events like birthdays, anniversaries, and even first dates. Such bars have become a staple of cultural diversity in many places, including Leichhardt. The best hookah bars in Australia are ones that provide an authentic cultural experience, like Versus Bar & Dining.


The shisha vs cigarettes debate is a complex one, with many myths and facts surrounding it. While hookah smoking has been around for centuries, cigarettes are a more recent invention that poses a global health concern due to their addictive nature. It is important to remember that both shisha and cigarettes are harmful to our health and can have long-term effects on our well-being.

So, when it comes to choosing between the two, it is always best to choose none. However, if you do decide to partake in shisha with friends, remember to do so in moderation and in a safe and well-ventilated environment, like in Versus Bar & Dining.