Cultivation of the Smoke in Style
“Nobody quits smoking, a smoker’s a smoker when the chips are down”. Dwight is categorized by Jackie boy in this dialogue from Sincity (2005) as a category 2 smoker.There are 3 types of smokers, one who smokes out of habit no matter what;the other who smokes when the chips are down and the third most important category of smokers, as far as the bars and pubs are concerned, are the ones who smoke socially and get attracted to the ‘cool’ side of smoking.A year or two ago, the pubs and the bars in Delhi and Mumbai faced a major threat of the loss of customers, especially the students who frequented their joints in large numbers to drink and smoke and have a jolly good time, as smoking was banned in public places.It became hard to attract the category 3 smokers as they always have an option of the comfort of their home or hostel rooms, where they can puff away to glory without any fear. This need of smart marketing or a blue-ocean strategy started a rage which we now call as The Hookah Bars .The water moisture induced by the hookah, also known as ‘Sheesha’ or ‘Nargila’, makes the smoke less irritating and may give a false sense of security.The lack of awareness of the fact that hookah involves 50 to 100 inhalations in its 40min session and is 70 times more damaging than a normal cigarette was cashed upon, and with a few couches thrown here and there, a perception was created among youngsters that hookah with tikka and booze is the most stylish way of congregating with a group of friends.This has been projected as a totally new concept and marks the revival of the age old hookah tradition in India. Over the past two years, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of hookah joints all over India, and also the world.The US, Canada, India, Pakistan and the Middle East boast of quite a few hookah bars as a means of attracting the youngsters.In a recent research by Khalid-Alijarrah (Dec 09’), out of the 235 students with an...
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