The huge negative epistemological consequences stemmed from the use of the “““waterpipe””” code (cf. antismoking literature) have been detailed in several publications .
One thing is that "hookah" (although an Arabic term -see Moghul period; our doctoral thesis on this issue) is used in the English speaking world: UK/USA, etc because , it was found used in former colonies of the latter: India, Pakistan, etc. In the Arab world today, Iran and Turkey, the most common word is either Narghile (dropping the “n” in local speaks (Syria, Lebanon, etc.) or Shisha (the latter being a word of Persian origin).
The bottom line is that “““waterpipe””” is a sociological editorial war code (cf. antismoking literature in “Tobacco Control”, “Nicotine and Tobacco Research”, etc.).
 Chaouachi K, Sajid KM. A critique of recent hypotheses on oral (and lung) cancer induced by water pipe (hookah, shisha, narghile) tobacco smoking. Med Hypotheses 2010; 74: 843–6. Doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.11.036
 Chaouachi K. To whom does ‘public health’ belong when it comes to ‘Waterpipe’ Smoking ? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2008; 32 (6): 583. Doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2008.00319.x
EXCERPTS FROM: Chaouachi K, Sajid KM. A critique of recent hypotheses on oral (and lung) cancer induced by water pipe (hookah, shisha, narghile) tobacco smoking. Med Hypotheses 2010; 74: 843–6. Doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.11.036
The ““waterpipe”” neologism
(in one word) was officially endorsed in 2004 according to a functionalist
definition : ““waterpipe”” are “tobacco use methods in which smoke passes
through water”. This term proved to be a scientific nominalism as,
for almost one decade, virtually all researchers in this field have considered
that ““waterpipes”” are more or less a
same material object across space and time. Interestingly, a scientometric
study found that this neologism was over-represented in the public health
Unfortunately, this is not a mere question of vocabulary preference and the guiding rule should have simply been to use the main names people have been using for centuries (mainly “hookah”, shisha or “narghile”) and always provide the corresponding characteristics. The sad consequences have been that no distinction –in published peer-reviewed studies- has been made possible between the chemical composition of smoke of different water pipes and, above all, between the latter’s and that of cigarettes [8-9]. Such a situation reached the point that the findings of one important study on genotoxic effects on buccal cells in Egypt have been invalidated because of the use of the ““waterpipe”” neologism [10-11]. Indeed, the chemistry (and health effects) of the Chinese bamboo water pipe (filled with tiny amounts of plain tobacco; no charcoal intervention) is not the same as that of the Middle East narghile (filled with 20 to 30 g of plain moistened tobacco with charcoal embers directly in contact with the former) or that of the modern shisha (packed with about 20 g of a tobacco-molasses mixture separated from the charcoal by an aluminium thermal screen), not to mention that of cannabis. Such a reductionist approach has elicited a permanent systematic parallel with cigarette smoke. Yet, the aerosol chemistry is completely different in each case and it is assumed that the corresponding health effects also .
 Maziak W, Ward KD, Afifi Soweid RA, Eissenberg T. Tobacco smoking using a waterpipe: a re-emerging strain in a global epidemic. Tob Control 2004; 13: 327-333.
 Millar N, Budgell BS. The language of public health—a corpus-based analysis. Journal of Public Health 2008;16: 369–74.
 Chaouachi K. Hookah epidemic. British Dental Journal 2009; 207: 192-3
 Chaouachi K. Harm Reduction Techniques for Hookah (shisha, narghile, “water pipe”) Smoking of Tobacco Based Products. Med Hypotheses 2009 Oct;73(4):623-4.
 El-Setouhy M, Loffredo CA, Radwan G, Rahman RA, Mahfouz E, Israel E, Mohamed MK, Ayyad SB. Genotoxic effects of waterpipe smoking on the buccal mucosa cells. Mutat Res. 2008; 655:36-40.
[*] Chaouachi K. Micronuclei and Shisha/Goza Smoking in Egypt. Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis 2009; 675: 81–2.
EXCERPTS FROM: Chaouachi K. To whom does ‘public health’ belong when it comes to ‘Waterpipe’ Smoking ? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2008; 32 (6): 583. Doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2008.00319.x
Then, there is the question of the vocabulary because using ‘waterpipe’
– instead of the natural words (three main ones: hookah, shisha, narghile) used
by peoples in their daily language and to be found in all dictionaries of the
world – has implied the blind endorsement of a scientific nominalism with
tremendous consequences on research. By using an imposed neologism outside a
given and limited geographical area, their users just draw a parallel between
devices known to produce fumes with very different chemical compositions and
corresponding smoking patterns .
For instance, a shisha (in which the charcoal and smoking mixture are separated by a tin foil and in which temperatures scarcely go in excess of 150°C) used in New Zealand is completely different from a Chinese water pipe (involving a tiny amount of tobacco and no charcoal) or an Egyptian goza (direct contact between the charcoal and the mixture in which temperatures are higher) .
Practically, the following statement “The Chinese water pipe [in 2 words] is smaller than the Iranian narghile” is true from a logics viewpoint. “Iran has two main water pipes: Narghile and Qalyan”and “Mada‘a is the national Yemeni water pipe even though there are other types” are also true statements. However, statements as “Waterpipe is [this or that]” or“Waterpipe use causes [this or that] disease]”, without any given information about the geometry of the pipe, the nature of the smoking preparation (tobacco, no tobacco, molasses or not, charcoal or not, etc.) are false from the same scientific viewpoint.
 Chaouachi K : Tout savoir sur le narguilé. Société, culture, histoire et santé [Eng.: Everything about Hookahs. Society, Culture, Origins and Health Aspects]. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2007, 256 pages, colour. ISBN : 978-2-7068-1954-4
 Sajid KM, Chaouachi K, Mahmood R. Hookah smoking and cancer. Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) levels in exclusive/ever hookah smokers. Harm Reduct J 2008 24 May;5(19). Doi:10.1186/1477-7517-5-19
OTHER RESSOURCES:Hookah (Shisha, Narghile) Smoking and Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). A Critical Review of the Relevant Literature and the Public Health Consequences. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2009; 6(2):798-843.
Full text free from: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=19440416
Table of contents (useful): http://kamcha.googlepages.com (go to Glossary)
PITHY SENTENTIOUS RECAP HERE
2011: Times are a changing... Consider updated information on this issue and other closely related ones:
Scitopics such as:
FRENCH: “Waterpipe” -terme réductionniste (au sens ethnologique), nominaliste (au sens philosophique) et commercial (lié à l'industrie pharmaceutique)- fut imposé jusque comme condition pour les articles soumis à certaines revues biomédicales afin d’effacer la dimension socio-culturelle de la pratique correspondante.