Bongs and water-cooled pipes (shishas), typically made from ceramic, glass, acrylic or bamboo, cool the smoke allowing larger hits to be taken. The water also washes out some of the particulates and tars produced in the smoke for a healthier, smoother toke. A bowl holds the smoking mix and sucking on the stem draws the smoke down through the water reservoir. A small hole or “choke” is kept covered during drawing of the smoke and uncovered for inhalation. Interesting Stoner Fact #503: the word bong is derived from the Thai word for ‘bamboo pipe’, and bongs have traditionally been used by the Hmong tribes of Thailand and Laos, as well as in Africa, before their use (and the name) caught on in the West during the 1970s. Thank you, hippies!