Positive impression of hookah doubles odds of taking first puff
Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 : Beware! A study finds that youngsters, who have positive attitude or desire to take up smoking hookah for socialising and relaxing, are twice as likely to start up hookah smoking in future.The findings of University of Pittsburgh's schools of the health sciences indicated that the participants, who initially reported that they intended to smoke tobacco from a hookah at some point in the future had seven times greater odds to start smoking from a hookah, compared to those who had no plans to use a hookah.
According to researchers, the prevention efforts are likely to be more successful, if they work to counter the image of hookah tobacco smoking as a fun activity for socialising and relaxing.
"What this study showed us is that young adults who take up hookah tobacco smoking do so because they think it's cool and attractive, and they weren't dissuaded by the health dangers of smoking," said lead author Jaime E. Sidani.
"We need to find an effective way to combat those positive attitudes. That might include regulations on advertising and flavorings, coupled with solid counter-messages and educational programs encouraging young adults to think critically about marketing," E. Sidani added.
They analysed data from 1,785 adults ages 18 to 30, who reported on their hookah tobacco smoking habits, knowledge and attitudes in 2013 and again 18 months later in 2014.
Forty-three percent reported having an education level of high school or less, making this study even more notable, as most hookah-related studies focus on college students due to the prevalence of hookah bars near university campuses.
Initially, 69 percent of the participants reported never smoking tobacco from a hookah, also known as a waterpipe and 25 percent reported having smoked from a hookah at least once.
After 18 months, seven percent of people who reported never smoking hookah had transitioned to having smoked at least once, while four percent of those who reported ever smoking had transitioned to current users.
The research appeared in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.