Knowledge and attitudes toward hookah usage among university students

J Am Coll Health. 2013;61(6):362-70. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2013.818000.


Objective: Hookah smoking is a popular form of tobacco use on university campuses. This study documented use, attitudes, and knowledge of hookah smoking among college students.

Participants: The sample included 943 university students recruited between February 2009 and January 2010. Respondents (M age = 20.02) included 376 males, 533 females, and 34 who did not report sex.

Methods: An anonymous online questionnaire was completed by respondents.

Results: In this sample, 42.9% of college students had tried hookah, and 40% of those individuals had used it in the past 30 days. Students perceived fewer negative consequences of hookah smoking compared with cigarette smoking. Age, sex, racial background, marijuana/cigarette use, and perceptions of side effects were significantly associated with hookah use.

Conclusions: University students are misinformed regarding the health consequences of hookah smoking. Programs aimed at education, prevention, and intervention for hookah use are needed to address this growing public health concern.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Southeastern United States
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities*
  • Young Adult