Who would have known that a practiced Middle Eastern tradition would find its way all the way over here to McKinney, Texas?
Hookah lounges are relatively new and they're considered cool. They're a widely common hangout and socializing venue for older teens and college students. Of course, there are disagreements about the health dangers of smoking hookah.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) quotes that smoking hookah “delivers the addictive drug nicotine and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke.” This statement and ones similar, have parents concerned about their kids’ health as they go off to these lounges.
“I don’t want my daughter smoking that,” says local mom Martha Wilson. “It’s addictive and I don’t want that harming her or becoming a habit.”
But not everyone says it's addictive. Mike Jabary of Jabary’s Hookah Lounge in Richardson disagrees. In the video below this story, you can see him talk about the lack of addiction involved and also shows how to smoke it.
“It is a social thing,” said Jabary. “It is much different than cigarettes because it is not addictive. Because of the mixes of illegal drugs it is hard for older folk to understand that the hookah is a completely different aspect; a different use.” A native of Jerusalem, Mike knows first hand about the traditional uses of hookah.
“Hookah is a traditional Middle Eastern tobacco,” said Jabary. “It has been there for centuries. It is used in coffee shops and get-togethers with friends. And places where friends can be together.”Considering its controversial nature, other opinions concerning hookah and its makeup are in circulation around the community as well.
While McKinney itself does not have any hookah lounges surrounding areas such as Plano, Richardson, and Denton seem to be drawing McKinney kids to their hookah lounges. Because of the tobacco in the product, users of hookah must legally be 18 years of age or older in order to partake.
“Smoking hookah is a great confection tastefully and visually that is so much fun to share with friends,” said McKinney college student Brad Weiler. “It’s a safe substance with which to have relaxing social enjoyment.”
For college students, hookah lounges are becoming a place for socialization. Parallel to a Starbucks or coffee shop, where people can hang out with their friends or even get some homework done, hookah lounges offer the same amenities. Usually decorated with couches and warm colors on the wall, the atmosphere is very relaxing. But instead of drinking coffee while writing a paper, people can smoke hookah. Because hookah does not contain the same type of nicotine that cigarettes and cigars contain, it is believed to be less harmful to the body and simply relaxes its users.
To hear more about hookah, how to make it and its traditional uses, please click the video below where you can watch an interview with Mike Jabary himself.
Jabary’s Hookah Lounge is located in Richardson at 1600 N. Plano Rd Suite 400 Richardson, Texas 75081 and is open from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.