Hookah Etiquette

One of the most well-known and well-loved hookah smoking traditions takes place when you invite your friends to sit around the pipe and share a fun, taste-bud stimulating experience. We strive to carry on that tradition. But first, let’s run down a few guidelines to make sure we keep the tradition of smoking hookah a lively—but courteous—experience.

If you are the host, try to involve as many guests as you can.

While not everybody may be interested in smoking, the unique nature of a hookah’s assembly and use is almost sure to peak someone’s interest. As a host, your job is to be gracious without putting on unnecessary pressure. A good way to warm your guests up to the communal aspect of hookah is to have them help you pick out the flavor mix for the night.

If you are the guest, respect any house rules!

Hookah has a very traditional history, but that doesn’t mean everyone has the same traditions. If it’s not your house or your hookah, leave the tending to the host or make sure you get permission to help first.

The Fumari Motto: “You Build It, You Smoke It.”

It’s polite to give smoking dibs to the person who set everything up in the first place. After all that hard work, they deserve a little R&R.

Pick a rotation, and stick to it.

Going clockwise is the most common rotation, but as long as the hose is going straight from you to the person sitting next to you, everyone will get a fair turn to smoke.

Don’t be a “Hookah Hog”!

We know you've given (or received) death glares to your fellow hookah smokers who hold on to the hose as long as they can. But “puff puff pass” just isn’t enough time to really experience the flavor!  Don’t be afraid to take four or five puffs before passing it down. But don’t even think about trying to balk that hose.

What the heck is balking?

Well I’m glad you asked. In baseball, balking happens when the pitcher misleads the batter before the pitch by making an illegal motion. In hookah, if you are in the process of handing the hose to someone and then you suddenly decide “Oh wait, I want one more puff!” then congratulations, you’re a balker.

Telling a story? Pass it along, buddy.

We are all eager to spend the next 10 minutes hearing about your first ever crowd surfing moment at last year’s Coachella. But if you’ve got the hose, do us all a favor and pass it on down before your play-by-play recap of the magic.

Keep your smoke to yourself.

We know you’re proud of those giant Fumari clouds, but don't blow into people’s faces, belongings, and pets. Did you just blow smoke into Mr. Whisker’s fur?? Not cool, man.

Ok, for real this time, hand it over!

When you do finally reach that fateful moment of parting with the hose, it’s universally considered polite for you to hand it over with the mouth tip facing away from the next smoker.

For those who like to move it, move it...

Be cautious of your movements around the hookah even when you're not smoking! Make sure you don’t tug on or trip over the hose.  If you need to move the hookah itself, do so by the base, never the stem. The whole world won’t fall apart, but your hookah might.

And finally, for all you world travelers out there…

Smoking hookah in a different country can be a thrilling experience. But while you’re researching whether or not it’s considered polite to burp at your table, take some time to look up hookah smoking customs at your destination. Just never assume that what you read on the internet is always truth. Sometimes it’s better just to ask the hookah server or the natives you may be traveling with.