Difference Between Hookah and Bong

In today’s world, there are many people who prefer smoking in various ways. It may be by using a cigarette, a cigar, or certain other equipment as well. These pieces of equipment happen to be widely popular all across the world because of their popularity and their use.

Hookah and Bong are two such pieces of equipment that are used by many people to accomplish their habit of smoking. In many cases, some people mistake one of this equipment in the name of another one, but in reality, these two are completely different, and there are many differences that lie between these two. 

Hookah vs Bong 

The main difference between Hookah and bong is that the former one depicts a device that is mostly used in eastern countries for the purpose of smoking certain substances. This device contains a large bowl at the very core connected with certain pipes and other mechanisms. But on the other hand, the latter denotes another device that is similar to the former one but does not necessarily use for smoking only. Apart from this, there are many differences between the infrastructure of these two and the purpose they serve. 

Hookah and Bong

The term hookah derives its origin from the English term hooked because when the British came to India, they saw this particular device and found themselves very much attached to it; therefore, they used the term hooked in the very beginning. This device denotes a process in which water vapor is made to travel between the pipe and the stem of the device so that the user can inhale the substance at his own convenience. 

But on the other hand, bong is a device that somehow looks similar to the previous one but happens to be entirely different if we look at it carefully. The most distinguishing feature of this device is that it comes in a relatively small size and therefore happens to be transportable. Not just this, but this device can also be used for medicinal purposes as well and is not just limited to smoking substances only. 

Comparison Table Between Hookah and Bong 

Parameters of Comparison Hookah Bong 
Meaning  Refers to a device used for smoking certain substances It refers to another device that is used for smoking or inhaling many substances 
Another name  Gugugudda, chillam, narikela etc. Buang. 
Prevalent in This device is most prevalent in eastern countries. This device is mostly prevalent in Far East countries such as Africa 
Purpose  It is mostly used for smoking certain substances. It is used for smoking as well as inhaling certain medical substances as well. 
Manufacturing  The device contains a large bowl in its very core and on the top of the device certain coal pieces are kept The device contains a single structure of a bowl attached with a stem. 
Size  It happens to be very giant in size. This device happens to be relatively small in size. 

What is Hookah? 

The smoking device called Hookah is widely popular in countries like India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. Although the word for this particular device in other languages is very different, still the term hookah prevails so much in Western countries as well.  

Initially, when the British captured India, they noticed this particular device in the Indian culture. With the passing of time, they found themselves hooked to this particular device and eventually named it Hookah. Coming to the making of this particular device, it contains four fundamental parts. The very first is the bowl that is attached to the very core of the device.  

This bowl is connected with a particular stem, and the stem is connected with another pipe from which the user inhales the substance. And on the top of the device, there is a definite place for keeping the tobacco or the substance that needs to be smoked. In many states of eastern countries, the making of this device differs so much, but eventually, it comes down to one single process of smoking only. 

What is Bong? 

Resembling Hookah so much in terms of manufacturing, bong happens to be a sort of confusing device in terms of interpretation. The major concern with this device is that it resembles Hookah so much that it becomes almost impossible to differentiate between these two from the very first look of them.  

However, there are certain distinguished qualities of bong that differentiate it from other devices used for smoking. The device seeks its origin in Thailand, and even its name has been taken from the Thai word buang. A major advantage attached to this particular device is that being the small version, it is very easy to take it from one place to another.  

Because of the amazing portability of this particular device, it is preferred by many people across the world. Unlike Hookah, bong defers a little bit in manufacturing as well. It contains a stem in which the person puts in the tobacco, and the stem goes directly into the bowl of water in which the water acquires the taste and essence of the substance. One thing to be noted here is that this particular device is not just used for smoking only but for medicinal purposes as well. 

Main Differences Between Hookah and Bong 

  1. Hookah refers to a device used for smoking certain substances, while Bong refers to a device used either for smoking or for inhaling medicines as well. 
  2. The hookah has other names, such as Narikela. Gudugudda, chillam etc. While on the other hand, Bong is also called Buang in Thai. 
  3. The hookah has a very giant structure as compared to Bong. 
  4. Bong can easily be transported from one place to another, unlike Hookah. 
  5. Bong is said to be originated in counties like Africa, while Hookah is the cultural heritage of countries like India and Afghanistan.  
  6. Hookah contains a large bowl in its very core, and on the top of the device, certain coal pieces are kept, but on the other hand, Bong contains a single structure of a bowl attached with a stem. 
Difference Between Hookah and Bong


In different countries, the culture of smoking is totally different, and people living there prefer smoking in as many diverse ways as possible. It is not necessary that different devices are used for different purposes only because the change in name can just be a consequence of differences in territories.  

In most cases, devices carrying different names can serve similar purposes as well. Hookah and bong are two such devices that so much contradict one another in terms of looks and purpose also, but in order to know them in their entirety, it is necessary to mark a difference between these two because eventually, they serve different purposes and also differ in their making as well. 


  1. https://tobaccoinduceddiseases.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1617-9625-5-16
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/imj.12089
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