Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 1

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Page 57 of 79

58 tobaccoasia C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Staff Report One of the bright lights of the tobacco scene around the world is the increasing popularity of cafés serving hookahs, shishas, hubbly bubblies, call them what you will. Once associated almost exclusively with street cafes in Middle Eastern and North African cities like Beirut and Cairo, this expanding phenomenon no longer covers merely the traditional markets. It now extends to western cities such as Madrid, London, and New York, where young, hip profes- sionals are spending their dollars on cocktails and a bowl of flavored tobacco. Reports emerging from the US put the in- crease in such venues as high as 210 % in the last five years. The shisha cafés and bars in these cities that are part of immigrant Arab communities are see- ing a wider crowd of westerners coming than they would traditionally have expected. In the Pipeline Hookah Joints: Smokin' Hot Around the World "Shisha parties, in which groups of friends gather in parks, are also on the up" Some smokers say they find the decor of the Arabic themed bars appealing, and the pipe it- self also has an aesthetic attraction. But increas- ing numbers of places are owned and managed by westerners and often have shishas as part of the entertainment alongside DJs and live music. These restaurants, bars and cafés are mixing shisha with sophisticated wine lists, custom cock- tails and dinner menus that are as likely to have grilled tiger prawns with pernod sauce as falafel, hummus and baba ghanoush. Above: Suite 55 in New York

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