Opportunities for policy interventions to reduce youth hookah smoking in the United States

Prev Chronic Dis. 2012:9:E165. doi: 10.5888/pcd9.120082.


Preventing youth smoking initiation is a priority for tobacco control programs, because most adult tobacco smokers become addicted during adolescence. Interventions that restrict the affordability, accessibility, and marketing of cigarettes have been effective in reducing youth cigarette smoking. However, increasing numbers of youth are smoking tobacco using hookahs. Predictors of smoking tobacco with hookahs are the same as those for smoking cigarettes. Established interventions that curb youth cigarette smoking should therefore be effective in reducing hookah use. Potential policy interventions include equalizing tobacco tax rates for all tobacco types, requiring warning labels on hookah tobacco and accurate labeling of product contents, extending the cigarette flavoring ban to hookah tobacco, enacting smoke-free air laws and removing exemptions for hookah lounges, and expanding shipping restrictions on tobacco products.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Product Labeling / standards
  • Smoking / economics
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Taxes / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Industry
  • Tobacco Use Cessation / psychology
  • United States