Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Manager
Telephone: 412-647-9966
Director
Telephone: 412-417-2582
Other Inquiries

One-Third of all College Students Report Hookah Smoking Pitt Study Finds

PITTSBURGH, June 6 – Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. college students has smoked tobacco from a hookah, according to the findings of a large nationwide study led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“Certain sociodemographic characteristics, such as male gender and fraternity membership, were associated with hookah tobacco smoking,” said lead author Brian Primack, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Pitt’s School of Medicine and director of the school’s Program for Research on Media and Health.  “However, the most striking finding was how consistent rates of hookah tobacco smoking were across factors such as geographic region, university size, and university setting.”

The findings, published in the June issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, are alarming, the authors note, because hookah tobacco smoke contains most of the same toxicants as cigarette smoke.  A recent World Health Organization report esti¬mates that a hookah tobacco smoker may inhale as much smoke during one session as a cigarette smoker inhaling 100 or more cigarettes.

In the study, researchers surveyed more than 100,000 students from 152 U.S. universities participating in the National College Health Assessment in 2008 and 2009. Of the sample, 30.5% reporting ever using a hookah to smoke tobacco, compared with 34.6% for cigarettes, 28.6% for cigars, and 10.6% for smokeless tobacco. 

“Another interesting finding was that, of those who had smoked tobacco from a hookah in the past 30 days, 51% of them had not smoked cigarettes in those 30 days,” said Dr. Primack. “This suggests that hookah smoking may be attracting many people who would otherwise not have been tobacco users.”

Collaborators on the study were Ariel Shensa, M.A.; Kevin H. Kim, Ph.D.; and Mary Carroll, B.A., all of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Mary Hoban, Ph.D., and  E. Victor Leino, Ph.D., both of American College Health Association; Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University; Kathleen Hoke Dachille, J.D., University of Maryland Francis  King Carey School of Law; and Michael J. Fine, M.D., M.Sc., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com