A hookah, also known as the ḡalyān, is a single- or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco, or sometimes cannabis or opium, whose vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin—often glass-based—before inhalation.
Health risks of smoking through a hookah include exposure to toxic chemicals that are not filtered out by the water and risk of infectious disease when hookahs are shared.
There are two theories regarding the origin of the hookah. The first is that following the introduction of tobacco to medieval India by the Jesuits, the water pipe was invented by Abu’l-Fath Gilani, a Persian physician of Akbar, in the Indian city of Fatehpur Sikri during Mughal India; the hookah spread from the Indian subcontinent to Persia first, where the mechanism was modified to its current shape, and then to the Near East. Alternatively, it could originate in the Safavid dynasty of Persia, from where it eventually spread to the east into the Indian subcontinent during that time.
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