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Young Smokers Unaware Of The Danger, Study Finds

Update Date: Jul 09, 2014 08:52 AM EDT

Despite warnings from Centers for Disease and Prevention that hookah smoking can be injurious to health, many young adults believe that using water pipes does no harm to health, according to a new study. 

For the study, researchers visited three Southern California hookah lounges and asked adults between the ages 18 and 30, "Do you believe smoking hookah is harmful to your health?" 57 percent said they thought it was not. 

On being asked why they thought hookah was harmless, 47 percent replied that they believed that the smoke gets filtered through water, and 35 percent said they thought that fruit used to flavor the tobacco detoxify tobacco's harmful chemicals. 

Other 16 percent of them said hookahs are harmless because the tobacco is not addictive and does not contain nicotine. 

Unfortunately none of the beliefs are true. 

"With hookah smoking on the rise, particularly among young adults, our goal was to identify factors influencing perceptions, attitudes and preferences toward hookah smoking," said Mary Rezk-Hanna, a UCLA nursing doctoral student and lead researcher for the study, in the press release. 

"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 added. "Understanding the basis of these perceptions and beliefs is of particular relevance for helping healthcare professionals design effective prevention and intervention strategies that target young-adult hookah smokers."

The study was published in the July-August issue of the journal Nursing Research. 

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