Hookah tobacco smoking seems to be increasing in both prevalence and frequency. The University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health (CRMTH) study revealed that nearly 1 in 5 recently surveyed high school seniors report having smoked tobacco from a hookah in the past year and more than a third of them reported smoking hookahs often enough to be considered regular users.
The findings add to evidence that hookah use among adolescents is increasing in both prevalence and frequency, suggesting that it is important to add hookahs to tobacco surveillance and intervention efforts.
Lead author Brian A.Primack said that hookah smoking does not seem to be just a fad; it seems to be a practice that is increasing steadily over time nationwide and among hookah smokers, it's not just something they do once and that's it.
He noted that a substantial and increasing proportion of people, particularly adolescents, seem to be smoking hookahs with enough regularity to create a significant public health concern.
Primack points out that despite indications that hookah use is increasing, the long-term surveillance efforts necessary to target interventions have not kept pace. While traditional cigarette smoking is decreasing, use of other forms of nicotine and tobacco is increasing, said Primack, adding that if people want to counteract this potentially problematic trend, tobacco prevention and intervention efforts must also address hookah use and must continue to collect data specific to hookah use. The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine