August 2, 2015

Pipe Dreams: Hookah smoking is cool, but is it safe?

A look at mainstream hookah smoking.

Amy Keller | 7/1/2010

More Than Pipe Dreams

Jason Bajalia, who included hookah smoking when he opened the Casbah Cafe in Jacksonville 11 years ago, says he knew he was on to something when patrons began offering him $400 to $500 to buy hookah pipes he’d purchased from Egypt for just $10. Today, he says, business is still going strong, with between 120 and 130 hookah sessions each day. While 50% of his sales come from food, hookahs and alcohol each make up another 25%.

Brennan Appel, director of the online hookah store SouthSmoke.com, sells hookahs and hookah supplies to Bajalia and dozens of cafes around the country. He says the typical hookah cafe can make a killing. “It’s costing them less than $1 to make a bowl, and they’re charging $15 to $30. The rest of cost is labor to clean the hookah up. If you have a place that services 100 hookahs a day and they charge $20, that’s $2,000 a day.”

Pipe Dreams
[Photo: Michael Heape]

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Average age of cars on U.S. roads breaks record
Average age of cars on U.S. roads breaks record

The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. is rising, even as consumers snap up more new vehicles -- a paradox attributable to substantial increases in reliability.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Medicare turned 50 this week. Your opinion of the program?

  • Great: I am on it already
  • Great: I look forward to being on it
  • Unsure: I'm not on it yet
  • Not good: I am on it, and don't like it
  • Not good: I could be on it, but don't want to
  • Other (comments welcome)

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe