Shisha smoking through exotic looking waterpipes, has become a common sight in city streets across the UK. Once the preserve of older men in specific community groups it's now become a trendy, multicultural activity popular particularly with students and young people.
University club nights are increasingly featuring shisha tents for partygoers and there are now even companies offering a handy home delivery service for shisha right to your door. And with its sweet smell and wholesome sounding fruity flavours it's just a bit of harmless fun - even for people who'd never dream of lighting up a cigarette. Isn't it?
Today is No Smoking Day, and we at the British Heart Foundation are warning of the dangers of shisha because new research shows widespread ignorance of the harm it can cause along with a dramatic rise in the number of shisha bars in the UK.
Contrary to popular belief, shisha - also known as hookah, hubble bubble and narghile - is not safer than smoking cigarettes. Shisha usually contains tobacco and is therefore linked to the same serious and life-threatening diseases as cigarettes, such as heart disease and cancer.
What's more, there are added risks with shisha because you often smoke it for far longer than you would a cigarette and you're also exposed to toxins from the wood or charcoal used to burn the tobacco.
More than 750,000 smokers attempt to quit on No Smoking Day each year, and we want to extend the invitation and support to anyone who uses shisha. At the very least we want to make sure shisha smokers are aware of the risks and can then make an informed decision about whether it's something they want to continue.
Our survey of more than 2,200 UK adults showed more than one in ten thought there were no health harms from using shisha, and just 43% knew shisha could contain tobacco.
Almost everyone we surveyed was unaware that during a typical hour-long shisha session you can inhale the same amount of smoke as from 100 tobacco cigarettes. In fact 84% thought it was 10 or fewer.
This level of unawareness is all the more alarming when you consider that the number of shisha bars in the UK has rocketed by 210% since the smoking ban came into force in 2007. This was the finding of our Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to 133 local authorities in major towns and cities across the UK - the first ever audit of its kind.
The FoI data shows 53% of local authorities have - or have had - a shisha bar since 2007, while more than 40% have seen a rise in numbers. We found a total of 179 known shisha bars in 2007 compared with 556 now.
The rise in popularity of shisha is in stark contrast to the steady decline in cigarette smokers in the UK. It's moved on from being a pastime for older men in specific community groups to a trendy, multicultural activity popular particularly with students and young people.
While everyone has a right to choose whether they smoke or not, we want people to know the facts about the dangers of shisha first. And if they want to quit smoking, whether that's cigarettes, cigars, pipes or shisha, we're here to help, and not to judge.
Anyone who wants more information about quitting can visit www.taketheleap.co.uk or call 0800 434 6677.