The hookah, a waterpipe, originated in India and became popular for smoking tobacco. It spread elsewhere and acquired other names like nargile, shisha, goza and hubble-bubble, before its popularity declined in India. A resurgence of hookah smoking is occurring in India and around the world, and is being promoted as safer than cigarette smoking. This article debunks this myth, by showing that hookah smoke contains more tar and carbon monoxide than cigarette smoke, promotes nicotine addiction and exposure to second-hand smoke, and causes gum disease, tuberculosis, chronic lung diseases, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight.