Understanding psychosocial aspects of waterpipe smoking among college students

Am J Health Behav. 2014 May;38(3):440-7. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.38.3.13.


Objective: To gain an understanding of the psychosocial and environmental influences on waterpipe smoking among college students. Participants were 49 university students who were regular waterpipe smokers.

Methods: A series of in-depth, in-person, semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted.

Results: It was a common belief that wa- ter in the waterpipe absorbed all the "impurities" in the tobacco and that it was safer and less addictive than smoking cigarettes. Main reasons for waterpipe smoking were social acceptance, peer influence, socializing with friends, perception of looking "cool" and physiological effects commonly referred to as "buzz."

Conclusions: Interventions focusing on changing the perceptions of college students regarding health hazards associated with waterpipe smoking should be developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Universities
  • Young Adult