Purpose: Waterpipe tobacco smoking is reported to be growing in popularity, particularly among college students. This study examined the prevalence of waterpipe tobacco smoking prevalence and perceptions in a university-based population.
Method: This was a cross-sectional Internet-based survey of first-year university students, which examined waterpipe tobacco smoking and other tobacco use, risk perceptions, influences, and perceived social acceptability.
Results: Waterpipe tobacco smoking within the past 30 days was reported by 20% (151/744). Relative to never users, users were more likely to perceive waterpipe tobacco smoking as less harmful than cigarette use.
Conclusions: Because waterpipe tobacco smoking is increasing in prevalence and because it can involve toxicant inhalation at even greater levels than with cigarette smoking, it represents a growing public health issue.