218768 Prevalence of hookah use among a representative sample of college students

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tracey E. Barnett, PhD , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Christopher McCarty, PhD , Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Florida Survey Research Center, Gainesville, FL
Barbara Curbow, PhD , Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Thalia V. Smith, MPH , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Scott L. Tomar, DMD, DrPH , Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL
Steven B. Pokorny, PhD , Alachua County Health Department, Gainesville, FL
The prevalence of hookah smoking is increasing in the United States, particularly among both adolescents and young adults. Hookah cafes are especially increasing in college towns. Using an intercept approach, we surveyed students of a large, public University in the south. The intercept approach yielded a high response rate (51.7%) and a more representative sample of students than traditional phone or web-based surveys, with 45.7% participation among males and 46.1% non-white. Of the sample, 10.9% report current (defined as past 30 days) hookah use, approaching the current cigarette use rate of 11.7%. More students, however, have tried hookah (45.4%) than cigarettes (40.3%) or any other form of tobacco. Of those reporting current hookah use, the majority (67.9%) also own their own hookah pipe; with more than one-third (35.9%) reporting combining other substances with the shisha tobacco. As evidence of the social nature of smoking among college students, nearly 22% did not try tobacco products until after age 18. Clearly, college students are experimenting with tobacco products, and hookah provides a perceived less harmful way to use tobacco, which could potentially lead to openness toward other tobacco products. As hookah cafes become an easily accessed bar atmosphere for those under 21, efforts need to increase in both educating users regarding harm and enforcing existing policy such as the clean indoor air act to slow the opportunity for use.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the current hookah trends; characterize the profiles of users; Educate public health professionals regarding the widespread use of waterpipe among adolescents and young adults.

Keywords: Tobacco, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the development of the study and the study instruments.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.