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Bongs are often associated with Cannabis, though they are also used to smoke tobacco and tobacco alternatives. They are said to offer a smoother smoke than traditional pipes, and may reduce some of the health risks associated with other smoking methods.

The basic principle of a bong is that smoke is passed through water or some other fluid, cooling and filtering the burned substance before it reaches the users mouth and lungs. There is some medical evidence to support the idea that smoking a bong is less harmful than cigarettes or cigars, but make no mistake: smoking with a bong is still harmful to your health.

The simple core principle of the bong lends itself to almost infinite adaptation, and bongs have a reputation for bringing out the hidden engineer in even the most idle group of smokers. Bongs are as likely to be home made as purchased, and can range from the simple (such as the bucket bong) to the deliberately elaborate.

Michael Phelps smoking a bongOthers prefer to purchase professionally made bongs, in some cases very well crafted ones such as Roor bongs. As you can see from this photo Michael Phelps, 14 X Olympic gold medal winner and aruguably the greatest swimmer of all time, probably falls into the latter camp.That ain't cheap glass he's using there either.

We'll be posting reviews on a wide range of bongs over the coming months, but for now check out our Roor review or comment below if there's any brand or type you'd like to see featured.

Creative Commons License Image courtesy of point!