Online Program

Elevated carbon monoxide levels among hookah and alcohol concurrent users

Monday, November 4, 2013

Eric Soule, PhD, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Tracey E. Barnett, PhD, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Despite evidence confirming the harmfulness of hookah tobacco smoking, this behavior remains popular among young adults. Additionally, young adults often combine hookah smoking with alcohol use. No known study has examined if the combination of these two behaviors results in increased negative effects. Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study was to examine the relationship between hookah and alcohol use among young adults. Between midnight and 4:00AM on a Friday night, researchers recruited patrons exiting hookah smoking establishments to complete a brief survey and submit carbon monoxide (CO) and breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) readings. A total of 66 hookah bar patrons (Mean Age=21.42, 22.7% female) participated in the study. Among the total sample, 39.4% reported consuming alcohol including 43.3% of those under the age of 21. When comparing CO levels of those who reported both hookah and alcohol use (Mean CO=44.08 ppm, SD=23.37) with those who reported only smoking hookah (Mean CO=30.24 ppm, SD=24.37), combined users had significantly higher CO levels (t(64)=-2.34, p=0.022). After removing 0.00 BrAC readings from the sample, CO and BrAC were not correlated (r=.155, p=0.460, n=25), however, this may be due to small sample size. The link between alcohol use and increased CO among hookah smokers warrants concern. Additionally, this connection between hookah and alcohol is not limited to young adults who are of legal drinking age, but also underage individuals. Understanding the extent of the effects of hookah and alcohol concurrent use may aid in decreasing the negative health impacts caused by these two behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of hookah and alcohol concurrent use among hookah bar patrons. Compare carbon monoxide levels between hookah and alcohol users and hookah only users. Identify the age groups that engage in hookah and alcohol concurrent use.

Keyword(s): Tobacco, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with multiple studies investigating both hookah and alcohol use among young adult populations. I have also been a member of research teams which have utilized CO and BrAC breath tests using nighttime field methods. My research interests focus on risky and addictive behaviors among young adult/college populations, specifically tobacco use, alternative forms of tobacco use, and alcohol use.
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.