You’ve heard it all before: “You can’t go to a hookah bar without it.”
But what if you’re not sure if you should?
The answer, it turns out, is simple: You don’t need one.
As it turns up in an analysis of new statistics from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, over 40 percent of all adults in the city lack access to hookah lounges.
And these are not just the folks who smoke in public places, like bars or parks.
The study found that hookah use is on the rise, with more than 4 million hookah users nationwide in 2016, according to the New York Times.
Hookah users are the most likely demographic to be unemployed, and most live in urban areas.
And for some people, hookah bars are an affordable alternative to the black market.
“The majority of these people are looking for a safe and affordable alternative,” the report found.
That means there’s a lot of demand for these places, and they’re often located close to public transportation.
“People want to be in their own space, and to not feel as if they’re being seen or heard,” says Aaron Johnson, the director of the NYC Center for Health and Human Services’ Center for Public Health and Urban Policy.
So why are there so many of them?
There’s no single cause, but there are a few factors that may be contributing.
The report also found that most of the places have the same problem.
People who have access to public transit, such as public transportation workers, have a lower risk of getting hooked.
And they’re more likely to be white, have more education, and live in more affluent areas.
“There’s definitely a correlation between access to access to health care and availability of hookah establishments,” Johnson says.
And the city’s health department’s analysis of the data also pointed to some other factors, such a shortage of public restrooms.
“A lack of access to a public restroom has also been shown to be associated with increased hookah usage and hookah exposure among persons of color,” the study found.
This could explain why black men are less likely to have access than white men.
According to Johnson, it’s also possible that the city is focusing on the hookah, but it’s not necessarily an accurate representation of the citywide prevalence of hookahs.
“We don’t have any good data on the actual population of hookies, but I think there’s an assumption that there are so many that they are concentrated in the Black and Latino neighborhoods,” he says.
“And there’s certainly a correlation.
It’s definitely an issue for the city.”
The numbers in the study are based on a study of the U.S. Census, and do not take into account the many other factors that contribute to hookahs being a more affordable alternative than the black or Latino community.
Johnson says it’s important to remember that while there are many factors that can affect hookah popularity, these factors are also part of the overall trend.
“I think there are some variables that can explain a lot about where hookahs are, but that’s not to say there aren’t others,” he adds.
“That’s just not the case.”