Difference Between Hookah & Bong

Hookah and bong are devices used for smoking tobacco and other similar products, such as cannabis and herbs. They have similar constructions, which can cause confusion among people who are not familiar with these smoking devices that originated in eastern cultures. This article will explore the differences between hookah and bong for the benefit of the readers.


Hookah is a smoking device that is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent. It has different names in various eastern cultures, such as Gudugudaa in Maldives, Chillim in Afghanistan, and Nargile in Syria, Iraq, and Uzbekistan, among others. The word Nargile is believed to have evolved from the Sanskrit word Narikela, which refers to the use of coconut shells for smoking. In many Middle Eastern countries, the word Sheesha is used for hookah.

The British were fascinated by hookah and incorporated the word into the English language. A hookah has four parts: the bowl or head where burning tobacco is kept, the base that is partially filled with water, the pipe that connects the bowl to the base container filled with water, and the hose that carries the smoke only and does not dip into the water. Mostly charcoal is used to heat up tobacco, but some countries use electric heaters. When a smoker inhales through the pipe, the smoke of the tobacco is pulled out and made to pass through the water at the base and finally into the pipe in the smoker’s mouth. Passage through water causes filtration of the smoke and also cools it down, giving a smooth feeling to the smoker compared to the hot smoke of modern cigarettes.


Bong is a word commonly used in western countries for a smoking device similar in construction to the eastern hookah. However, it is smaller than a hookah and can be easily carried from one place to another. It can be used to smoke not just tobacco but also cannabis and other products, including herbs. The origin of the word bong is traced to the Thai word Buang, which refers to a similar device used for smoking. Bongs have been used for smoking in the Far East and many African countries for centuries.

A bong has a stem with a mouth where tobacco or cannabis is burnt. This stem goes down to a cylindrical bowl that contains water at the base. The top of the cylinder has a mouthpiece through which a smoker inhales smoke. The smoke is drawn into the water bowl, where it gets filtered, and heavy particles in the smoke are left behind.

Key Takeaways

  • Both hookah and bong are used to inhale smoke from tobacco and other similar products.
  • Hookah is larger in construction and has a longer pipe compared to a bong.
  • Hookah is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent, while bong has been used in Far East countries for centuries.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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