Shisha Tobacco History

Shisha Tobacco History

Also known as nargileh, shisha, or kalian shisha tobacco is a unique form of smoking tobacco that is flavored. Many people love to smoke shisha tobacco. Knowing the history of this unique form of smoking increases the excitement of the smoker. Read on for more information.

1500-1600: The Making of the First Hookah Pipe

During these years, the Portuguese started trading a lot through the Far East. This included a lot of trading taking place in India. So it was the Portuguese that introduced the Indians to smoking tobacco. Indians enjoyed smoking tobacco when it was introduced to them due to how it made them relax.

First Indian Hooker Pipes
First Indian Hooker Pipes

Then Emperor Akhbar received his tobacco as a gift. It was then that his Chief Physician Abu’l-Fath Gilani decided to find a safer way of smoking tobacco. This is where it all started. It was made from coconut shell and tube. This was in the city of Fatehpur Sikri.

The smoking of tobacco spread quickly to Iran. In Iran, these devices were used for smoking. It was called Ajami. It had no flavor. However, it was strong and gave smokers the effect they needed.

1603: Hookah Smoking Introduced to Turkey

Also, during the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) reign, hookah took center stage. Sultan Ahmed I introduced hookah smoking in Turkey although most of his successors banned it.

Sultans of the Ottoman Empire loved to take pictures or have paintings drawn with them holding or using their hookahs. Due to this the use of these devices became a unique status symbol. So, affluent people appreciated smoking. They used them during their royal dinners and executive or diplomatic gatherings or meetings.

1900: Introduction of Hookah in the Middle East

During the 1900, the Middle East had their introduction to the hookah world.

1902: Flavored Tobacco Mixes Introduction in Egypt Called Shisha

In Egypt, tobacco was changed a bit. Here, normal tobacco was mixed with some honey or even molasses. This is where flavored tobacco came in. As time went by, dried watermelons, lemon, mint, and others were included to tobacco before smoking.

1903: Introduction of a Purge Port to Shisha Device

A purge port was then added to the heart of shisha at this time. This was done to ensure tobacco is cooled down to ensure the other flavors added showed forth. Besides, this is where the change in the hookah smoking experience really happened.

1903: Shisha Cafes Were Introduced in the Egypt

The introduction of shisha lounges and cafes took over. This made shisha tobacco readily accessible to all. So, it was in the 19th century that flavored shisha tobacco was started.

2000: Hookah Device Designs kept Changing

In India, Persia, Turkey, not forgetting the Middle East, the hookah lifestyle spread through the 20th Century. However, its growth entered other countries like Pakistan, Israel, and Armenia.

With the different cultures, each culture added their own twist and spin to the way the hookah looked and its pipes, etc.

Components of a Hooker Pipe
Components of a Hooker Pipe

2005 – 2006: Hookah Industry Established in the USA

A hookah industry was established in the United States of America during this time. This is because they found some fine ways to ensure the hookah device as well as flavors for smoking changed for the best.

Shisha smoking gained fame in the USA and Europe in these years. More hookah lounges were setup as well as cafes were in profitable business.

2010: Hand Made Hookah Devices Was Introduced

Handmade hookah was introduced this year and most of them were made in glass. These types were made to make smoking very simple and easy as well as personal. These days, you will find hookah devices in different colors, sizes, material types, designs, holes, bowls, etc. All these show the development levels that have taken over.

2011: Invention of Shishapresso

This invention was birth to make shisha tobacco smoking less messy and classier.

2012: Novel Electronic Hookah Invention

This type of electronic hookah invention was designed to meet traditional smoking needs. Its external adapter will fit all traditional hookahs.

Electronic Hookah Components
Electronic Hookah Components

2014: Unique Working Method Inventions of Hookah Introduced

There were hookah devices designed to replace the small heat capacity unit of the normal hookahs available. So, these types were designed to preserve flavor, increase safety, etc.

Shisha Pen Electronic Hookah
Shisha Pen Electronic Hookah

2014: Cooler Element Introduced into Hookah

This element was introduced to cool down tobacco and make smoking enjoyable.

2020: New Hookah Pipes and Shisha Flavors Introduced

Even with flavors for smoking, there are countless options smokers can choose from. Newer flavors are introduced daily with the hookah device being altered or updated to meet various needs from time to time.

2022: New Charcoal Holder Invented for a Hookah

In this year, the introduction of charcoal holders for hookah devices gained much fame. With this invention, the hookah becomes more exciting and versatile to make good use of. This invention was first done in the USA.

2/9/22: Wood and Epoxy Resin Hookah Introduced

The creation of this unique type of hookah is indeed the best. It was designed to make smokers have the finest experiences when they smoke. Also, the final look of the hookah was well considered.

2023: Introduction of Shishapresso

To make shisha tobacco smoking easier, innovators keep finding ways to help simplify the process. Well, the introduction of shishapresso from 2014 seems to be working so well for most smokers now. More people are trying this unique invention.


As you can see, the shisha tobacco history is quite elaborate. Since it’s invention, there has been a lot of progress aiming to give users different tastes and experiences.

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