Hookah vs Bong: Difference and Comparison

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

Key Takeaways

  1. Hookahs are water pipes used for smoking flavored tobacco or other herbal substances, featuring a long hose for inhaling the smoke and originating in the Middle East and India.
  2. Bongs are water-filtered smoking devices, made of glass or acrylic, used primarily for smoking cannabis and designed to inhale smoke directly from the device.
  3. Both hookahs and bongs use water filtration to cool and smooth the smoke but differ in design, purpose, and the substances they are intended for.

Hookah vs Bong 

The difference between Hookah and bong is that the former 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 similar to the former one but is not necessarily used for smoking only. Apart from this, there are many differences between the infrastructure of these two and the purpose they serve. 

Hookah vs 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, a 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. 

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Comparison Table

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, the term hookah also prevails so much in Western countries.  

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 first is the bowl 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, the 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.  

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However, there are certain distinguished qualities of the 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 used not only for smoking but also for medicinal purposes. 


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

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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11 thoughts on “Hookah vs Bong: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The emphasis on the size, portability, and versatility of the bong relative to the hookah was insightful. It would be interesting to explore the cultural significance of bong’s smaller size in different regions.

    • Agreed, understanding how the practical design of the bong relates to cultural preferences and practices would further enrich the discussion.

  2. The historical background of the hookah and how it was named was very intriguing. I’d like to learn more about the origin and influence of the bong as well.

    • Exploring the influence of the bong in different cultures would indeed add more depth to the comparison provided in the article.

  3. The explanation of the manufacturing and usage of both hookah and bong was very detailed and helpful in understanding the subtle yet significant differences between the two devices.

  4. The detailed description of the bong’s features and its practical applications, including medicinal use, was very enlightening. I’d like to know more about its historical evolution.

  5. I appreciated the inclusion of the origin and cultural prevalence of hookah in various countries and how it contributed to its widespread popularity.

  6. The article effectively elucidated the main differences between hookah and bong, providing a comprehensive understanding of their unique characteristics.

  7. The comparison table makes it easy to understand the distinctions between hookah and bong, not just in terms of use and appearance, but also in the cultural context.

  8. I found the article very informative and clear in explaining the differences between hookah and bong. I appreciate the cultural and historical context provided as well.


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