Examining hookah smoking among a cohort of adolescent ever smokers

Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 Dec;13(12):1202-9. 
Authors: Sterling KL, Mermelstein R.

Introduction: Evidence suggests that hookah smoking is growing among adolescents, particularly among those with a history of cigarette smoking, and is an emerging public health concern. We examined hookah use and its correlates among a sample of adolescents who have ever smoked and may be considered high risk for hookah use. Methods: We examined differences between hookah users and nonusers among a cohort of 951 adolescents (75.3% of the baseline sample, mean age 17.6 years at 24 months), consisting exclusively of youth who reported ever smoking cigarettes who were participating in a longitudinal study of adolescent smoking predictors and patterns. Ever and 30-day hookah use were assessed at 24 months. Results: Of the 951 participants, 58.5% reported ever use and 30.2% reported smoking hookah at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Multivariate logistic regression analyses found that 30-day hookah use was associated with sex (p < .05); race (p < .001); current cigarette (p < .0001), cigar (p < .01), kretek (p < .05), and alcohol use (p < .01); and attending a hookah bar, lounge, or restaurant (p < .001). Participants who were male, White, and were concurrent users of multiple tobacco products and other substances had increased odds of 30-day hookah use. Conclusions: Prevalence of hookah use is high among youth who have already tried cigarette smoking and is associated with a variety of tobacco and other substance use behaviors. Evidence-based programs may be needed to prevent initiation of or reduce hookah smoking, as well as address cooccurring problem behaviors, to lessen the health risks associated with use among adolescents.

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