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Black-Owned Hookah Company Offers Nicotine- and Tobacco-Free Products in the U.S

Black-Owned Hookah Company Offers Nicotine- and Tobacco-Free Products

The global hookah tobacco market is booming, with a valuation of USD 421.22 million in 2023 expected to grow to USD 697.11 million by 2031, according to Skyquest. However, there is a noticeable lack of minority-owned producers in the industry.

When Cardell “Blakk Tatted” Bradley discovered the health risks associated with traditional hookah tobacco—comparable to smoking cigarettes—he decided to take action. Bradley’s family was personally affected by the dangers of smoking, which led him to investigate alternatives for healthier options.

“A close family friend passed away from smoking cigarettes,” he told Esssence. “My cousin made a point that smoking hookah was the equivalent of smoking a pack a day. I had to find a way around it.”

Bradley’s research led him to fruit-based shisha, which uses molasses as the main ingredient to reduce harmful chemicals and additives. In 2020, he launched Blakk Smoke, offering 100% fruit juice-based shisha that contains no nicotine or tobacco, making it the healthiest option on the market. His products proved immensely popular, earning $2 million in under 25 minutes during a Black Friday sale in 2023.

Bradley attributes his success to hard work, faith, and the courage to dream big. His journey is chronicled in his upcoming book, Behind the Smoke, which offers insight into his rise in an industry he was initially unfamiliar with.

Blakk Tatted’s business has grown some much that he even has gotten endorsements from celebrities like Lil Bow Bow, Yung Miami and Trina Braxton and influencers like Mrs. Netta and Charles, Ari Fletcher and Donovan Weatherspoon.

Consumers can purchase hookahs with insulated acrylic bases and LED light-changing technology, hoses, candy tips, coconut charcoal, coal pots, foil and a multitude of hookah pens with flavors, including caramel, pink lemonade, mint and sour apple.

Reflecting on his journey, Bradley encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter their circumstances.

“I know people that started out just like I did,” he explained to Essence. “We don’t have blueprints. A lot of us come from different situations. The only thing we know is struggle. The only thing we can see is struggle.

The only thing we can identify is a struggle. But we also need hope to see that there’s light at the end of the struggle sometimes. We also need those reminders to show us that I can come out of this. I’m not always a product of my environment.

And I’m like a living testament that you don’t have to be a product of your environment. I wasn’t supposed to make it, but I did. And you can too.”


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