How to Smoke from a Bong

Bongs, also known as water pipes, are often seen as the pinnacle of a smoker's paraphernalia collection. They are usually made of beautiful glass designs in intricate colors and shapes, but they can also be made from acrylic, bamboo, and ceramic. Smoking out of a bong is different than smoking out of a pipe or a rolling paper because of the large capacity of smoke that the chamber can hold. Follow the steps below to learn how to smoke from a bong without embarrassing yourself.


  1. Image titled Smoke from a Bong Step 1
    Fill your bong with warm water. Pour just enough so that the stem is submerged in about 1/2 to one inch of water. The water will enter from the top of the chamber, the cylindrical tube that you also inhale the smoke from.
    • If there is too much water in your bong, it will splash up and possibly get in your mouth or drench the substance while you are inhaling.
    • Avoid this situation, as bong water can be extremely unpleasant when it splashes in your face.
    • Add ice to the chamber of the bong to chill the smoke as it rises through the chamber. Some smokers claim that this makes the smoke feel smoother as you inhale.
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    Pack the bowl of your bong with your smoking substance. The bowl is the tablespoon-sized, well, bowl, on the side of the bong. Most bowls are removable and act as the carb for your bong, which you will need to remove later on in the smoking process to clear the smoke.
    • Pack the bowl full to just under the rim of the bowl with your broken up or ground up substance. You can break your substance up by tearing with your fingers, cutting with scissors, or using a grinder specifically designed for marijuana or tobacco.
    • Avoid packing too little, as very small grinds may get sucked through the bong as you smoke. Conversely, if you overpack the bowl, you may clog it and prevent air from getting through.
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    Put your mouth on the top of the chamber. Your lips should go inside the rim of the mouthpiece, not around it.
    • Avoid slobbering all over the mouthpiece. Doing so is bad etiquette, and let's face it, gross.
    • Make sure your mouth is firmly pressing into the mouthpiece so as to avoid allowing air to escape as you smoke.
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    Put your finger on the carb. Some bongs have carbs that are simply holes located on the side of the bong or the bong stem. If you are smoking out of this style bong, cover the hole with one finger before lighting the bowl.
    • Many bongs do not have carbs. In the case that your bong does not have a carb, you will remove the bowl piece once you have filled the chamber with smoke.
    • If the bowl piece is not removable, you will not perform the carb function at all. It is not completely necessary for smoking from a bong.
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    Ignite your substance while you simultaneously inhale. Hold a lighter or a match to the substance in the bowl as you inhale through your mouth with your lips on the inside of the chamber. You can release the fire as soon as the substance begins to glow red, which is called being "cherried" because of the red hue.
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    Suck with good strength until the chamber fills with smoke. You can take as big of a hit or as small of a hit as you want at this point. If it is your first time smoking, try only filling the chamber about halfway with smoke. Otherwise, "milk" the bong until the chamber is white with smoke.
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    If the bong has a carb, take your finger off of it or pull out the bowl piece. Doing so removes the substance and allows the smoke to clear out of the bong without resistance.
    • If you need to take a break from inhaling at any point, cover the mouthpiece with the palm of your hand before removing the carb.
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    • If you take a break after removing the carb, some smoke will start to escape from the chamber.
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    Inhale the rest of the smoke. You do not have to suck hard to remove the smoke from the chamber after removing the carb because there will be no resistance.
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    Hold the smoke in your lungs for several seconds, and then exhale completely.
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    Replace the carb and pass the bong to the person to your left if you are smoking socially.


  • Change your bong water every time you smoke. Dirty bong water has an unpleasant smell and can affect the taste of your substance smoke.
  • Dont' worry if you cough upon exhalation, coughing is common.
  • Clean your bong with salt, rubbing alcohol, and hot water every few weeks, depending on how much you smoke. You can use a basic kitchen scrubber with a handle to clean tight crevices.
  • Most people usually hold the smoke in before they exhale.
  • Sometimes good amounts of smoke remain in the bong after inhalation.
  • Holding in smoke only deposits more tar into your lungs. When smoking anything, just inhale all the way so that your lungs are filled, then exhale normally. This will absorb 95% of all active compounds.


  • Don't exhale while your mouth is on the mouthpiece. It will blow the stem right out of the bong and your substance will spill everywhere.
  • Be aware that smoking certain substances may be bad for your health and/or illegal.

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