-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, July 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many young adults
don't realize that using hookahs can harm their health, a new study
Hookah smoking can be just as dangerous as cigarettes, according
to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However,
this study found that many young adults believe the water pipes are
a safe alternative to cigarettes.
Researchers asked patrons, aged 18 to 30, at three Southern
California hookah lounges if they thought that hookah use could be
harmful. More than half said they did not believe that it would
harm their health.
When asked why they believed hookahs were not a health threat,
47 percent said they thought the smoke gets filtered through the
water. More than one-third thought the fruit used to flavor the
tobacco detoxifies harmful chemicals, and 16 percent said the
tobacco used in hookahs doesn't contain nicotine and isn't
None of those beliefs is true, said the authors of the study in
the July/August issue of the journal
"With hookah smoking on the rise, particularly among young adults, our goal was to identify factors influencing perceptions, attitudes and preferences toward hookah smoking," lead researcher Mary Rezk-Hanna, a nursing doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release.
Previous research has shown that while cigarette use continues
to fall, hookah smoking is on the rise, especially among college
students. Sixty percent of the participants in the UCLA study said
hookah smoking is a trendy way of socializing.
"This study underscores the urgent importance of more research and campaigns to increase public knowledge on the dangers of hookah smoking, especially among young adults," Rezk-Hanna said.
Understanding the basis of these perceptions and beliefs can
help health care professionals design effective prevention and
intervention strategies, she added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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