Like any rising industry, companies are always looking for opportunities to cash in to make a quick turnover regardless of quality, reputation, or general business ethics. The dokha and medwakh industry is certainly no exception given the increase in popularity outside of the Middle East in the last few decades. Counterfeit or low quality products are becoming more common in this prestigious smoking tradition, non more so than the Medwakh Filters.
Medwakh pipes have been traditionally smoked filterless for hundreds of years. The end of the chamber would taper down, become thinner to fit the lips better. Although dokha is unprocessed and chemical free tobacco, it does contain a higher content of nicotine and tar per weight compared to most tobacco products. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that traditional farms working with medwakh carvers became more health conscious with the idea of fitting a filter tip at the mouthpiece. The filters became an instant success throughout the Persian Gulf region and the United Kingdom. Not only did these filters reduce the nicotine and tar, they provided a much cleaner, cooler, and overall more enjoyable smoking experience.
The original industry standard filter was produced by Tokai Corporation of Japan, a cutting edge manufacturing company specializing in rubber and other specialty plastic composite products. They produce a filter tip with cotton in the center that fits the standard diameter of a cigarette. Medwakh makers fit a metal piece on the end of the pipe that the filter would stretch over. These disposable filters have become the most recognizable and iconic accessory in the dokha and medwakh industry.
How to Spot a Fake
Several Chinese manufacturers have been producing low quality, counterfeit bio-pipe filters in similar packaging. These knock-offs have very small openings and air-flow within the filter and an inferior cotton piece. Production quality also varies greatly. These are surprisingly prevalant. One group in the United Kingdom sourced boxes from several countries and found that over 90% were the Chinese counterparts. A quick look at the packaging can distinguish the legitimate product from the frauds. The original filters will have “Anico Filter” within the green banner at the top, “Made in JAPAN” within the black bubble at the center, and doesn’t have any green Kana letters printed in the lower-left corner of the box. The Frauds have Kanji letters within the green top banner and the black bubble in the middle. The image above show both products. The authentic Tokai filters are on the left and the fakes are the right. Dokha smokers should take note of this and be wary when ordering these filters online because chances are you’ll receive the counterfeit product.
When ordering online There are a few brands of medwakh filters that are of high quality without fake counterparts. Sanda brand filters have been around for over a decade and come in a white box. Turbo Filter and Fadayee Filters are also solid filter products. Denicotea, a German company, also produce exceptional filters. These have a slightly different design. Instead of having an entirely disposible tip, these designs have a high quality and aesthetically pleasing permanent tip with a replacable interal filter cartridge. Denicotea tips have become very popular in the Emirates in recent years, especially among individuals with ornate medwakhs.
Along with filters, Chinese manufacturers produce low quality medwakhs as well. Many of these pieces have inconsistent quality and questionable materials. Particularly, some individuals have reported receiving expensive, counterfeit “camel bone” medwakhs. Instead of camel bone, are making pipes composed of dyed plastic composites notched together in the same fashion. If you are unfamiliar with came bone medwakhs an easy way to tell the fakes is by weight. Camel bone medwakhs are slightly heavier than standard wood medwakhs. The fakes feel lighter in weight. The real thing will look just like these Camel Bone Medwakh from our inventory.
As dokha smokers we need to be aware of Chinese knock-offs. These will only become more prevalant as the industry grows. At Kingdom Dokha we take pride in sourcing only authentic, high quality products you can count on. You can find all of our genuine Medwakh Filters at Here