Objective: To examine the prevalence and potential health risks of waterpipe tobacco smoking.
Methods: A literature review was performed to compile information relating to waterpipe tobacco smoking.
Results: Waterpipe tobacco smoking is increasing in prevalence worldwide; in the United States, 10-20% of some young adult populations are current waterpipe users. Depending on the toxicant measured, a single waterpipe session produces the equivalent of at least 1 and as many as 50 cigarettes. Misconceptions about waterpipe smoke content may lead users to underestimate health risks.
Conclusion: Inclusion of waterpipe tobacco smoking in tobacco control activities may help reduce its spread.