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A patron takes a hit from her hookah.
A patron takes a hit from her hookah.

Hookah puffing along in Potsdam

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Hookah bars, or hookah lounges, are places where people go to smoke shisha (non-tobacco herbs). They're usually associated with the Middle East, but they're on a run in this country. According to a website that monitors this kind of thing, there are more than 500 hookah bars in the United States, with 5 new ones opening every month. The phenomenon's mostly been restricted to big cities. But a hookah bar opened this fall in one of the North Country's college towns, Potsdam. When many small businesses are falling victim to the recession, are people willing to ante up for a toke? Chelsea Ross went to find out.

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Hookahs lined up in the back room.

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