Differing psychosocial risk profiles of college freshmen waterpipe, cigar, and cigarette smokers

Addict Behav. 2008 Dec;33(12):1619-24. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.07.017. Epub 2008 Aug 3.


Few studies have examined the psychosocial aspects of tobacco smoking in young adults, particularly among alternative forms such as waterpipe. To address this gap, we examined the association of psychosocial characteristics (i.e., sociodemographics, risk perception, social norms, and pluralistic ignorance) with waterpipe, cigar, and cigarette smoking in college freshmen. Data are from a cross-sectional internet survey conducted during spring semester 2004 at Johns Hopkins University, N=411. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine the association between psychosocial risk factors and waterpipe, cigar, and cigarette smoking. Results reveal that (1) psychosocial risk profiles of smokers differed by type of smoker and by type of tobacco product smoked, and (2) freshmen perceived the waterpipe as the most attractive product, out of the three products evaluated, to use among their peers. This study provides some of the first data on the association of psychosocial characteristics and various forms of tobacco smoking in young adults. This area of research is of increasing importance as a surge of waterpipe use among college students is becoming evident and interventions to reduce and prevent use are critically needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Environment
  • Students / psychology*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / adverse effects*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult