Hookah smoking: characteristics, behavior and perceptions of youth smokers in pune, India

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(7):4319-23. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.7.4319.


Background: Hookah smoking has been referred to as a global tobacco epidemic by public health officials. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics, behaviour and perceptions related to hookah smoking among the youth smokers in Pune.

Methods: Two hundred and eighty established hookah smokers participated in this study. Data was collected using a 29-item questionnaire, constructed using three main domains: Characteristics (socio-demographic and personal), behaviour and perceptions (about harmful effects in comparison to cigarette smoking).

Results: The results indicated that the mean age of starting hookah smoking was 17.3 years; 75% of participants did not have parental acceptance; light-headedness, dizziness and headache were most common reported nicotine effects, post hookah smoking. Hookah smoking on a daily basis was reported by 24.6% participants. The mean time of hookah session was 1 hour and 19 minutes. 68.2% participants were reported to smoke hookah in hookah-cafes and 35.7% participants were found to share the hookah. Some 66.7% participants had no intention to quit. Most of them (71-80%) had misperception about the safety of hookah smoking over cigarette smoking and 54-82% participants were unaware of health effects.

Conclusions: Educational intervention is urgently needed to create awareness among the youth about the harmful effects of hookah smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Perception*
  • Prognosis
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Young Adult