Hookah smoking is more prevalent among individuals of Middle Eastern descent. This study examined general and ethnic-specific risk factors for hookah smoking among Arabs and Chaldeans. A self-administered anonymous questionnaire was conducted among 801 adults residing in Southeast Michigan. Binary logistic regression modeling was used to predict risk factors for hookah smoking. Hookah smoking was significantly more prevalent among Arabs (32%) than Chaldeans (26%, p < 0.01) and being Arab was a risk factor for lifetime hookah use. Younger age (<25 years), being male, higher annual income, and having health insurance were significant risk factors for hookah use. Chaldeans believed to a greater extent than Arabs that smoking hookah is less harmful than cigarette smoking (75 vs. 52%, p < 0.001). Hookah smoking is prevalent in both ethnic groups, but significantly higher among Arabs. Results indicate that prevention efforts should target younger males with higher incomes.