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20% of High School Students Use Hookah

September 17th, 2015 00:00
Smoking Hookah

A new research reveals that nearly one in five senior high school students in the USA said that they used hookah to smoke tobacco in the past year. Moreover, more than a third of them told they smoke hookah quite often and researchers may easily call them regular hookah smokers.

The author of the research is Dr. Brian A. Primack, of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh, PA. He along with his team came to conclusion that hookah use among American young people is on rise.

For modern teens smoking hookah is a fancy at the beginning. They try it from curiosity and find it cool and funny to use it with friends. However, after some time they start using it so frequently that may be called regular smokers. Dr. Brian A. Primack says this creates a significant public health concern.

As you know, hookas are devices for smoking tobacco via water pipe. Another word for hookah is shisha. Young people are attracted by hookah because tobacco used for it comes in different fruit flavours.

There exists a belief that hookah is safer than cigarettes. However, researchers say that this is not true, because both forms of smoking have similar effects on health. Both contain nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, and with hookah smokers inhales greater amounts of them. One of previous studies found that hookah contains an additional substance called benzene. Therefore the researchers talk about the importance to regulate hookah use among teens.

How the present research was made? Dr. Primack with his team analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future study made by the University of Michigan. It was 2010-2013 data from 8,737 high school students across 48 American states. All them were asked how frequently they used hookah over the past 12 months and if they used cigarettes.

19% students told thay used hookah at least one time over the past year. 38% told they used hookah at least six times, and the researchers consider it a “sustained use” because a session of smoking hookah is equivalent to using a pack of cigarettes. As to cigarettes use, 54% students told they did not currently use them.

However, studies made in past suggest that young people who use hookah tend to turn to cigarettes in future.