Sustained Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking and Trends Over Time

Am J Prev Med. 2015 Dec;49(6):859-67. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.06.030. Epub 2015 Sep 15.


Introduction: Use of waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) is now prevalent among U.S. adolescents. However, the more clinically relevant questions are whether users exhibit sustained patterns of use and whether use is increasing over time relative to other tobacco products. We aimed to examine factors associated with sustained WTS among U.S. adolescents and to compare prevalence trends between WTS and other tobacco products.

Methods: The Monitoring the Future project began assessing WTS among 12th-grade students in 2010. In 2014, we conducted multivariable regression analyses to examine correlates of sustained WTS, which we defined as use at least six times in the past 12 months. We used trend analysis to compare use of WTS and other types of tobacco.

Results: Of the 8,737 participants queried from 2010 to 2013, 18.8% (1,639) reported past-year WTS, whereas 7.2% (627) reported sustained use. Sustained WTS was inversely associated with female sex (versus male, OR=0.78, 95% CI=0.63, 0.96); African American race (versus Caucasian, OR=0.26, 95% CI=0.14, 0.48); and increased number of parents in the home (p<0.001). Sustained WTS was positively associated with increased school-level parental education (p=0.002); lower grades (p=0.005); truancy (p<0.001); lower religiosity (p<0.001); more evenings out per week (p<0.001); and dating (p=0.03). Visual inspection and non-overlapping CIs suggest that both past-year and sustained WTS are significantly increasing relative to cigarette use but not small cigar use.

Conclusions: Given the prevalence of sustained WTS and indications of its increase over time, it should be included in efforts related to tobacco surveillance and intervention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / trends*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Water*


  • Water