Welcome! Login | Register
 

Worcester is the Worst City for People with Disabilities in U.S.—Worcester is the Worst City for People with…

Woman Dies in Fitchburg House Fire—Woman Dies in Fitchburg House Fire

Horowitz: Clinton Soundly Defeats Trump in First Debate—Horowitz: Clinton Soundly Defeats Trump in First Debate

MA Ranked 2nd Best State in Country for Teachers—MA Ranked 2nd Best State in Country for…

Fecteau: About Clinton’s Damn Emails—Fecteau: About Clinton’s Damn Emails

Organize + Energize: 4 Reasons Why I don’t Post Before & After Pictures—Organize + Energize: 4 Reasons Why I don’t…

MA Gas Prices Down 2 Cents From Last Week—MA Gas Prices Down 2 Cents From Last…

Cheat Sheet 59, FBI Files: Coia’s Relationship with Patriarca, FBI and the Clintons—Cheat Sheet 59, FBI Files: Coia’s Relationship with…

16-Year-Old Boy Shot in Worcester—16-Year-Old Boy Shot in Worcester

Man Dies Following Motorcycle and Pickup Truck Accident in Worcester—Man Dies Following Motorcycle and Pickup Truck Accident…

 
 

Nearly 25% of Female College Freshmen Smoke Hookah

Monday, July 23, 2012

 

A new study from Miriam Hospital researchers says that nearly 25% of female college students smoke hookah for the first time their freshmen year. Photo: surricata/flickr.

Nearly a quarter of college women try smoking tobacco with a hookah, or water pipe, for the first time during their freshman year, according to new research from The Miriam Hospital's Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

The study, published online by Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, suggests a possible link to alcohol and marijuana use. Researchers found the more alcohol women consumed, the more likely they were to experiment with hookah smoking, while women who used marijuana engaged in hookah smoking more frequently than their peers.

Dramatic rise in young hookah smokers

They say the findings are troubling since hookah smoking rates have increased dramatically among young adults over the last two decades, with some studies putting it on par with cigarette smoking. Many college students also mistakenly believe hookah smoking is safer than cigarettes, even though hookah use has been linked to many of the same diseases caused by cigarette smoking, including lung cancer, respiratory illness and periodontal disease.

"The popularity and social nature of hookah smoking, combined with the fact that college freshmen are more likely to experiment with risky behavior, could set the stage for a potential public health issue, given what we know about the health risks of hookah smoking," said lead author Robyn L. Fielder, M.S., a research intern at The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

Hookah smoking 101

Originating in ancient Persia and India, hookah smoking is a highly social activity during which users smoke tobacco filtered through a water pipe, according to the American Lung Association. The tobacco mixtures used in the hookahs vary in composition, with some having flavorings and additives, such as candy and fruit flavors, that help disguise the harshness of the smoke. Hookah smokers are exposed to higher doses of nicotine compared to cigarettes, as well as carbon monoxide and a very high volume of smoke, which contains toxic and cancer-causing smoke particles.

In the study, 483 first-year female college students completed an initial survey about their precollege hookah use, followed by 12 monthly online surveys about their experience with hookah smoking. Of the 343 participants who did not report precollege hookah use, 23 percent (79 students) tried hookah tobacco smoking during their first year of college.

Connections to alcohol, marijuana

An analysis revealed alcohol consumption predicted the likelihood of hookah use, while marijuana use and certain personality styles, such as a higher level of impulsivity and a strong tendency to compare oneself to others, predicted frequency of use.

Fielder says the findings corroborate prior research showing strong correlations between hookah and other substance use, but their research is the first to show that alcohol and marijuana use are prospectively related to hookah initiation.

"Youth tend to overestimate the extent to which their peers use substances, and because it's important to fit in with one's peers, this can lead to greater risk-taking," said Fielder. "Our research suggests prevention and intervention efforts should jointly target all substance use, including hookah, alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes, to optimize the public health impact."

 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.