Objective: Using a framework informed by problem behavior theory, the authors examined differential relationships between religiosity and the frequency of cigarette and waterpipe tobacco smoking.
Participants: Six hundred fourteen individuals beginning their freshman year at a large, public, midwestern university.
Methods: Paper-and-pencil surveys were administered to students who attended freshman orientation. Electronic surveys were sent to students who did not attend orientation.
Results: Although a latent, generalized religiosity factor was negatively associated with frequency of cigarette smoking, there was no such relationship for frequency of waterpipe use.
Conclusions: Conceptualizing waterpipe tobacco smoking in terms of problem behavior theory may be inappropriate, given its lack of association with religiosity. These results may reflect the perception that waterpipe use is a more socially acceptable form of tobacco use that is less harmful to health than cigarette smoking, despite medical evidence to the contrary. Implications for prevention and intervention are discussed.