ScienceDaily (July 18, 2012) — 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.
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.