A traditional hookah is a type of water pipe. The tobacco burns in a small bowl. The smoke from the tobacco then travels through a water chamber and along a rubber hose to a mouthpiece. The smoker inhales through this mouthpiece. Some people think that using a hookah is safer than smoking cigarettes since the water filters the smoke. That's probably not true, though. Hookah smoke still contains nicotine, an addictive drug that's toxic in high amounts. Hookah smoke may also contain other chemicals that can harm the body when they're breathed deeply into your lungs.