Title:
Sheesha smoking tube
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A Sheesha smoking tube assembly includes a unitary, one-piece structure, making a Sheesha smoking apparatus easier to clean, less susceptible to damage and more hygienic. The single smoking tube assembly includes a flexible tube, mouthpiece and connector made through a single forming process that uses die blocks. Soft seals prevent leaking between the tube and the Sheesha body. The flexible tube, mouthpiece and connector may be discarded after each use.



Inventors:
Ohanesian, Harout (Laguna Niguel, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/994739
Publication Date:
05/25/2006
Filing Date:
11/20/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
131/330
International Classes:
A24F1/30
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
FELTON, MICHAEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Myers Andras LLP (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A smoking apparatus, comprising: a smoking unit body; and an unitary smoking tube assembly, the assembly comprising a mouthpiece, a corrugated tube section, a smoking tube and a connector (already in dependent claim 4).

2. The smoking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the smoking tube is in fluid communication with the mouthpiece.

3. The smoking apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a handle grip.

4. The smoking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the smoking tube assembly is configured to be discarded after use.

5. The smoking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the smoking tube assembly is composed of thermoplastic polymeric.

6. The smoking apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the smoking tube assembly is composed of a food grade thermoplastic polymeric material.

7. The smoking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the smoking tube is coupled to the connector, and the connector is coupled to the smoking unit body.

8. The smoking apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the connector is coupled to an outlet nozzle of the smoking unit body.

9. The smoking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the smoking tube assembly comprises a first soft seal configured to prevent leakage of air between the connector and the smoking unit body.

10. The smoking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein a second soft seal prevents leakage between the smoking unit body and a tobacco flask.

11. A smoking apparatus comprising: a smoking unit body; and a smoking tube assembly, the smoking tube assembly incorporating a mouthpiece, a smoking tube, a connector, a first bushing, a second bushing, a corrugated tube section and a handle.

12. The smoking apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the smoking tube is composed of thermoplastic polymeric material.

13. The smoking apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the smoking tube is composed of a food grade thermoplastic polymeric material.

14. The smoking apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the smoking tube assembly is adapted to be discarded after use.

15. The smoking apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the first bushing connects and seals the mouthpiece to the smoking tube.

16. The smoking apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the second bushing connects the smoking tube to the connector.

17. The smoking apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the smoking tube comprises a soft seal, constructed to prevent leakage of air between the connector and the smoking unit body.

18. The smoking unit according to claim 11, wherein a second soft seal prevents leakage between the smoking unit body and a tobacco flask.

19. A smoking apparatus, comprising: a mouthpiece; a smoking tube; a corrugated tube section; and a connector.

20. The smoking apparatus according to claim 19, wherein the smoking tube is in fluid communication with the mouthpiece.

21. The smoking apparatus according to claim 19, further comprising a handle grip.

22. The smoking apparatus according to claim 19, wherein the mouthpiece, smoking tube, corrugated tube section, and connector form a smoking tube assembly.

23. The smoking apparatus according to claim 22, wherein the smoking tube assembly is composed of a food grade thermoplastic polymeric material.

24. The smoking apparatus according to claim 22, wherein the smoking tube assembly is composed of a thermoplastic polymeric.

25. The smoking apparatus according to claim 22, further comprising a smoking unit body.

26. The smoking apparatus according to claim 25, wherein the smoking tube assembly is configured to be discarded after use.

27. The smoking apparatus according to claim 25, wherein the smoking tube is coupled to the connector, and the connector is coupled to the smoking unit body.

28. The smoking apparatus according to claim 25, wherein the connector is coupled to an outlet nozzle of the smoking unit body.

29. The smoking apparatus according to claim 25, wherein the smoking tube assembly comprises a first soft seal configured to prevent leakage of air between the connector and the smoking unit body.

30. The smoking apparatus according to claim 25, further comprising a tobacco flask and a second soft seal that prevents leakage between the smoking unit body and the tobacco flask.

31. A method of manufacturing a smoking unit, comprising: forming a single piece of specialty thermoplastic polymeric material to make a corrugated tube section, connector and mouthpiece; melting a set of sizing die block segments to produce a length of molten thermoplastic polymeric that forms a tube; allowing for sufficient cooling time for the molten thermoplastic polymeric to attain the desired shape; and extruding the specialty thermoplastic polymeric.

32. The method of manufacturing a smoking unit of claim 31, further comprising producing a semi-fluid tube from the die head.

33. The method of manufacturing a smoking unit of claim 31, further comprising feeding the semi-fluid tube is fed through a corrugator; and blowing the tube with compressed air.

34. The method of manufacturing a smoking unit of claim 31, further comprising cutting the tube into separate segments.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is related to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/523,627, filed on Nov. 19, 2003, which is incorporated herein by reference and to which priority is claimed pursuant to 35 USC 119.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention pertains generally to smoking devices. More particularly, the present invention pertains to smoking tubes for flavored tobacco. The present invention is particularly, but not exclusively, useful as a Sheesha smoking tube.

2. Description of the Prior Art and Related Information

The use of a Sheesha, also known as a “Hubbly Bubbly,” is well known in certain parts of the world and is growing in popularity. Hookah smoking is preferred by many over smoking cigarettes and cigars because of the flavorful and cool taste of the smoke. A Sheesha is generally partaken following a meal in a restaurant and is considered a relaxing medium to finish off the repast. A Sheesha is used as a specialized smoking implement through which aromatic tobacco smoke is first drawn through a water bath and then on to the smoker. The Sheesha itself is a small packet containing a ground up mixture of dried fruit pulp, fresh tobacco leaves and flavored molasses in numerous available flavors such as apple apricot, strawberry, cappuccino, mint, cherry, etc. The process involves placing the small packet of flavor in a water pipe on top of burning charcoal. The user sucks on the mouthpiece and inhales tobacco smoke from the burning tobacco through the hot coals. The smoke then passes through tubes to a water bath to cool the smoke, which makes a quiet, relaxing bubbling sound. The smoke is then sucked through the water bath by the smoker causing a low pressure environment above the water by sucking the air out through the exit path and then through a elongated tube to the mouthpiece and into the smoker's mouth and lungs.

Due to the complex nature of a Sheesha's construction and the number of customers requiring their use, the same Sheesha unit may need to be used several times by different people in an individual sitting, making a conventional Sheesha very unsanitary. A Sheesha sitting involves continual movements during the Sheesha's use. Certain components like the conventional mouthpiece and flexible tube to the Sheesha body often get frayed and damaged. Furthermore, the conventional tube is gradually attacked and degraded each time it is cleaned such that it has to be changed and discarded on a semi regular basis, or as sometimes happens, the tube may not be regularly cleaned between users, making conventional Sheesha smoking very unhygienic.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, a smoking apparatus is provided. Generally, the smoking apparatus presents a novel replacement for a conventional smoking tube assembly. In a preferred embodiment, the smoking tube assembly comprises a single integral structure whereas conventional systems are made of multiple components composed of different materials. The smoking tube assembly replaces the mouthpiece and tube, the two items that are most difficult to clean and most prone to damage, with a highly economic, hygienic, single integral unit that comprises a flexible tube, mouthpiece and a connector made through a single forming process. The smoking tube assembly connector is coupled to the smoking apparatus via a nozzle on the smoking apparatus. The smoking apparatus includes a water bath, tobacco flask and a protective cover. The water bath is filled with water so that the tube is submerged in the water to a depth of approximately 50-75 mm. Hot coals are placed in the top of the tobacco flask and lumps of flavored tobacco are placed on top of the coals. When the connector is inserted into an outlet nozzle of the body a soft seal prevents leakage of air between the connector and the nozzle.

During use, the user sucks the mouthpiece and the air flows down through the burning tobacco and combines with the aromatic smoke. Both the air and smoke then travel down the tube to the water bath. The air and smoke bubbles through the water bath making a bubbling sound and progress through the outlet nozzle and through the smoking tube to the smoker.

In a preferred embodiment, the smoking tube assembly provides for discarding and replacing the flexible tube, mouthpiece and connector after each use. The smoke channels and water bath are then cleaned out with water, and the burning coals and the aromatic tobacco are replaced for the next user.

In a second preferred embodiment, the smoking tube assembly comprises a mouthpiece, pipe holder, smoking tube and a first and second bushing. The first bushing connects and seals the mouthpiece to the smoking tube. A second bushing seals the smoking tube connector to a nozzle on the smoking apparatus. The connector is then held in place by a soft seal, which prevents leakage of air and smoke between the smoking apparatus and the smoking tube assembly.

A manufacturing process for the Sheesha smoking unit comprises a corrugated tube section, connector and mouthpiece made from a single piece of special thermoplastic polymeric material. In a preferred, embodiment, the Sheesha smoking tube is extruded by using a set of preferably 60 sizing die blocks. A set of preferably 60 segments produces two lengths of Sheesha pipe. The method allows for sufficient cooling time for the molten thermoplastic polymeric to attain the desired shape. The method is achieved by extrusion of the special thermoplastic polymeric using a rotary screw extruder and a die-head. A semi fluid tube that comes out of the die-head is then fed through the corrugator comprising preferably 60 sets of corrugating segments. Each set of the corrugating segments is preferably 50 mm wide. At the same time, chilled compressed air is blown through the tube which serves to blow up soft molten thermoplastic polymeric tube into the grooved profile of the corrugating segment and gives the corrugated shape and the air rapidly cools down the tube. By the time the tube comes out of the corrugator, it has achieved the desired shape. An in-line guillotine cutter then cuts it at a specified point and length of preferably 1.5 meters, thus giving its final shape and size. These cut lengths are then rolled into a coil and packed in hygienically sealed plastic bags ready for dispatch to the market.

A hot molten tube of thermoplastic polymeric material is produced out of the die head. This material is then fed into a corrugation machine, which then forms the basic shape of the smoking tube. During this process, air is blown into the hot thermoplastic polymeric material tube. This blown air then assists in achieving the final desired shape of the complete smoking tube, including the mouthpiece and connector all in one unit.

In a preferred embodiment, the smoking tube is preferably 1.5 meters long but may be produced in shorter or longer lengths if so desired by adding or subtracting different sections of tube sizing blocks.

While the apparatus and method has or will be described for the sake of grammatical fluidity with functional explanations, it is to be expressly understood that the claims, unless expressly formulated under 35 USC 112, are not to be construed as necessarily limited in any way by the construction of “means” or “steps” limitations, but are to be accorded the full scope of the meaning and equivalents of the definition provided by the claims under the judicial doctrine of equivalents, and in the case where the claims are expressly formulated under 35 USC 112 are to be accorded full statutory equivalents under 35 USC 112. The invention can be better visualized by turning now to the following drawings wherein like elements are referenced by like numerals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a first preferred embodiment of the Sheesha smoking tube connected to a complete Sheesha smoking unit.

FIG. 2 shows the first preferred embodiment of the Sheesha smoking tube connected to a complete Sheesha smoking unit.

FIG. 3 shows a second preferred embodiment of the Sheesha smoking tube connected to a complete Sheesha smoking unit.

FIG. 4 is a flow chart of the manufacturing process for the Sheesha unit.

The invention and its various embodiments can now be better understood by turning to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments which are presented as illustrated examples of the invention defined in the claims. It is expressly understood that the invention as defined by the claims may be broader than the illustrated embodiments described below.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred embodiment of a smoking tube apparatus 100. The apparatus 100 preferably comprises a smoking tube assembly 10 releasably coupled to a smoking unit body, or simply body, 20. The smoking tube assembly is illustrated in FIG. 2 and designated generally by the reference number 10. In FIG. 2, the smoking tube assembly 10 comprises a singularly constructed structure having a mouthpiece 11 with a mouthpiece opening 11A used by the smoker to inhale the aromatic tobacco fumes, a pipe holder 12, a handle grip base 13 that provides both the stiffness to the lower part of the handle 19 to help retain its shape and also a comfortable section on the handle 19 for fingers to grasp, a corrugated tube section 18 and a smoking tube 14 having a proximal end 15 and a distal end 16. In a preferred embodiment, the smoking tube assembly 10 acts as one singular unit. The smoking tube 14 can be fit to any length but is preferably 1.2 meters long and comprises a highly flexible and thin food grade thermoplastic polymeric. The distal end 16 of the smoking tube 14 extends up to and connects into the Sheesha body connector 17.

Shown best in FIG. 1, the connector 17 is inserted into an outlet nozzle 23 of the body 20. A first soft seal 22 prevents leakage of air between the connector 17 and the nozzle 23. The water bowl 21 is then filled with water until an inner tube 24 is submersed in water to a depth of 50-75 mm in order for the smoking tube 14 to be in fluid communication with the water bowl 21. Hot coals are placed in the top of a tobacco flask 26. Lumps of flavored tobacco are placed on top of the coals. An arrester tray 28 stops any spillages of either tobacco, coal embers or ashes. A second soft seal 29 prevents leakage between the tobacco flask 26 and a neck 30 of the body 20.

By using a single unit for the smoking tube assembly 10, the mouthpiece 11, smoking tube 14 and connector 17 can be made of a specialty thermoplastic polymeric material that can be discarded after use, providing the user with a highly cost efficient system that is very hygienic. The apparatus 100 is primarily designed for one use by a single user. Being of a singular construction the smoking tube assembly 10 provides far less chance of leakage or ingress of unwanted air. The lightweight materials and single component provide the user with a flexible, easy to handle, lightweight unit to handle and thus provide a more relaxed environment. The singular construction of the smoking tube minimizes the chance of leakage of water or ingress of unwanted air.

In a preferred embodiment, the smoking tube assembly 10 is primarily designed for one use by a single user. It is understood that the present invention can be used by multiple users.

When the user sucks the mouthpiece 11, the air flows down through the burning tobacco, which combines with the aromatic smoke. Both the air and aromatic smoke then travel down the inner tube 24. This then bubbles through the water bowl 21 making a bubbling sound. Air and flavored tobacco smoke then progress through the outlet nozzle 23 and through the smoking tube 14 to the smoker. To allow the user a varying mixture of both air and flavored tobacco smoke an air inlet valve 25 can be used.

In a second preferred embodiment, shown in FIG. 3, the smoking tube assembly 200 comprises a singularly constructed structure having a mouthpiece 211 with a mouthpiece opening 211A used by the smoker to inhale the aromatic tobacco fumes, a handle grip base 213, a smoking tube 214 having a proximal end 215 and a distal end 216, and a corrugated tube section 218. In a preferred embodiment, the smoking tube assembly 200 acts as one singular unit. The smoking tube 214 can be fit to any length but is preferably 1.2 meters long and comprises a highly flexible and thin food grade thermoplastic polymeric. The distal end 216 of the smoking tube 214 forms into the Sheesha body connector 217.

A first bushing 235 connects and seals the mouthpiece 211 and handle grip base 213 to the proximal end 215 of the smoking tube 214. A second bushing 240 seals the smoking tube 214 to the connector 217. The first and second bushing 235, 240 prevent leakage of air and water. A first soft seal 222 prevents leakage of air between the connector 217 and the nozzle 223. A second soft seal 29 prevents leakage between the tobacco flask 226 and a neck 230 of the body 220.

The water bowl 221 is then filled with water until an inner tube 224 is submersed in water to a depth of 50-75 mm in order for the smoking tube 214 to be in fluid communication with the water bowl 221. Hot coals are placed in the top of a tobacco flask 226. Lumps of flavored tobacco are placed on top of the coals. An arrester tray 228 stops any spillages of either tobacco, coal embers or ashes.

When the user sucks the mouthpiece 211, the air flows down through the burning tobacco, which combines with the aromatic smoke. Both the air and aromatic smoke then travel down the inner tube 224. This then bubbles through the water bowl 221 making a bubbling sound. Air and flavored tobacco smoke then progress through the outlet nozzle 223 and through the smoking tube 214 to the smoker. To allow the user a varying mixture of both air and flavored tobacco smoke an air inlet valve 225 can be used.

Manufacturing Process

FIG. 4 shows the manufacturing process, or method, 300 for the smoking apparatus 100. The apparatus 100 comprises a corrugated tube section 18, connector 17 and mouthpiece 11 made from a single piece of specialty thermoplastic polymeric material that improves processing, bubble strength, flexibility and anti-allergic properties by utilizing pipe corrugation technology. The method 300 comprises the step 310 of extruding a single piece of specialty thermoplastic polymeric by use of a rotary screw extruder and a die head. In step 320, a semi fluid tube that comes out of the die-head is then fed through the corrugator. Each set of the corrugating segments is approximately 50 mm wide in the preferred embodiment. In step 330, to corruagate the Sheesha smoking tube, a set of preferably 60 sizing die blocks are used. A set of 60 segments produces two lengths of Sheesha pipe. The method allows for sufficient cooling time for the molten thermoplastic polymeric to attain the desired shape. At the same time, in step 340, chilled compressed air is blown through the tube which serves to blow up soft molten thermoplastic polymeric tube into the grooved profile of the corrugating segment and gives the corrugated shape and the air rapidly cools down the tube. By the time the tube comes out of the corrugator, it has achieved the desired shape. In step 350, an in-line guillotine cutter then cuts it at a specified point and length of approximately 1.5 meters, thus giving it's final shape and size. In step 360, these cut lengths are then rolled into a coil and packed in hygienically sealed plastic bags, ready for dispatch to the market.

A hot molten tube of thermoplastic polymeric material is produced out of the die head. This material is then fed into a corrugation machine, which then forms the basic shape of the smoking tube. During this process, air is blown into the hot thermoplastic polymeric material tube and this blown air then assists in achieving the final desired shape of the complete smoking tube, including the mouthpiece and connector all in one unit.

Many alterations and modifications may be made by those having ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Therefore, it must be understood that the illustrated embodiment has been set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as limiting the invention as defined by the following claims. For example, notwithstanding the fact that the elements of a claim are set forth below in a certain combination, it must be expressly understood that the invention includes other combinations of fewer, more or different elements, which are disclosed in above even when not initially claimed in such combinations.

The words used in this specification to describe the invention and its various embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use in a claim must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word itself.

The definitions of the words or elements of the following claims are, therefore, defined in this specification to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements in the claims below or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim. Although elements may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, it is to be expressly understood that one or more elements from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination and that the claimed combination may be directed to a subcombination or variation of a subcombination.

Insubstantial changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalently within the scope of the claims. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements.

The claims are thus to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptionally equivalent, what can be obviously substituted and also what essentially incorporates the essential idea of the invention.