July 22, 2014

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 ditgital 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

Greenlight Pinellas: Connecting Tampa Bay
Greenlight Pinellas: Connecting Tampa Bay

Chris Steinocher, President & CEO, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, explains the benefits of a proposed public mass transit system with plans to unite the Tampa Bay Area.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you agree with the Florida jury who just awarded $23 billion to the wife of a (deceased) smoker in her suit against RJ Reynolds?

  • Yes, justice has been served
  • No, that is too much

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe