Smoking has been a favourite pastime of men and women in the Punjab, as everywhere else in the country. The Muslims shared their hukka with one and all, while the Hindus either preferred to keep one for their personal use or shared it with members of their own caste. Ladies generally do not smoke but some elderly women and those from lower castes smoke hukka. In pre-independence era, women of royal and aristocratic families used to smoke hukka occasionally, as we can see in Pahar'i miniature paintings.
In the Punjab, the folks often coined humorous couplets, two of which are related to hukka:
"Hukka hukm khuda da, chilam hukke di dhi, Jitthe hukka dekhiye, otthe layiye pi"
The meaning is that God almighty has ordered us to smoke hukka, and chilam (the earthenware for burning coal) is its daughter; therefore, wherever one sees a hukka, one should not hesitate to smoke it. In response to this couplet, someone said
"Hukka hukm khuda da, chilam hukke di runn, Jitthehukka dekhiye, otthe dayiye punn.".
Hukka is included in the commandments of god and chilam is its wife, wherever one sees it, one should break it into pieces.
The sadhus of Punjab were hukka-addicts. They raised its importance by equating it with microcosm and macrocosm on account of its being composed of five elements, i.e. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether.