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Study Shows Popularity of Hookah Bars Among College Students

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A new study shows smoking tobacco from a hookah is a popular pastime for college students. Science Daily reports that the study authors found that hookah users often mistakenly think that smoking from a hookah is less harmful than smoking a cigarette.

The researchers sent a web-based survey to a random sample of North Carolina college students to ask them about their smoking and drug habits. They reported in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence that they found that 40.3 percent of students reported ever having smoked tobacco from a hookah, compared with 46.6 percent who reported ever having smoked a cigarette.

Among respondents, 17.4 said they were current hookah smokers and 25 percent were current cigarette smokers. Freshmen and males were most likely to use hookahs, also known as water pipes. The researchers say that hookah users may inhale more deeply over a longer period than cigarette users because of the hookah’s more pleasing aroma and taste. This means that hookah smokers can end up inhaling more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers do.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Patrice Morris
    Patrice Morris / April 8, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I have found that my sons age 18 and 20, seem to be “addicted” to using a hookah. They claim that it’s not addictive, they just enjoy the social part of it and they thinks it’s fun. Niether one of them have every smoked cigarettes and although I have shown them articles on the dangers of hookah smoke, they don’t seem to be phased by it. Is hookah smoking addictive?

  2. Avatar of bilaal
    bilaal / April 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    The amounts of nicotine in hookah tobacco/molasses mixtures are lower in comparison to cigarettes. Though this could make hookah addictive, I don’t think the amounts are great enough to have a significant impact resulting in addiction. Maybe the social reinforcement is more addictive?

    Hookah is particularly difficult to study because of the different manners of inhaling, different preparations of tobacco/molasses, and the different types of coals used for heating the tobacco. From initial observations it appears the CO levels from hookah can be much higher than cigarettes. Currently studies using biological samples are few, while machines that simulate smoking have obvious weaknesses.

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