hookahs are sick.
You won't be able to get one if you're under 18 unless you're really lucky, but I'm sure you have some buddies who are that age, or a fake ID... it's worth it, anyway.
Smoking a hookah is not like smoking cigarettes at all because the tobacco is heated to produce smoke rather than directly burning. This, coupled with the water pipe element, makes the smoke really smooth if you keep it cleaned out nicely. If you don't keep it clean, though, it will taste like shit.
As for health, I have heard that smoking a hookah has more tar and less nicotine than smoking that same amount of cigarette smoke, but the chemicals used in the self-lighting coals are very sketchy and they smell/taste like complete shit. Expect to get alzheimer's from those things if you smoke them a lot all your life... that's why I'm trying to experiment with natural charcoal in mine. Also, if you smoke for hours, then you will be smoking much more than a cigarette's worth, so you will probably get way more tar and nicotine than you would from a single cig.
I smoke mine maybe like once a week... it's sick to just light it up during a movie, or bring it out if you throw parties. It's also the best kind of smoke for learning to blow smoke rings, etc.
Also, when you have your own place, you should be able to smoke it inside without making the room smell like shit. The smoke is so different from regular tobacco smoke that it doesn't linger at all.
Also, you should know that I am always right, and everyone else is wrong. Even if you agree with me, I am right and you are wrong. This is my opinion and it is just as valid as yours, and I have a right to my opinion. Also, this is my signature. And it is 100% sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell.