More Than Half of Young Adult Smoke Volume Exposure Is From Hookahs

Hookah pipe, smoking
Hookah pipe, smoking
Toxicant exposure to tar, carbon monoxide, and nicotine are lower with hookahs, but still substantial, compared with cigarettes.

HealthDay News — Waterpipe tobacco smoking (or hookah smoking) accounts for half of young adults’ tobacco smoke exposure, according to a study published online May 16 in Tobacco Control.

Brian A Primack, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues compared toxicant load from waterpipe tobacco smoking and cigarette tobacco smoking among 3,254 young adults.

The researchers found that, compared with the additive estimates of waterpipe tobacco smoking and cigarette smoking combined, 54.9 percent of smoke volume was attributed to waterpipe tobacco smoking. 

Just over 20 percent of tar was attributable to waterpipe tobacco smoking, as was 10.3 percent of carbon monoxide and 2.4 percent of nicotine.

“Waterpipe tobacco smoking accounted for over half of the tobacco smoke volume consumed among young U.S. adult waterpipe and cigarette smokers. Toxicant exposures to tar, carbon monoxide, and nicotine were lower, but still substantial, for waterpipe tobacco smoking alone compared with waterpipe tobacco smoking and cigarette smoking,” the authors write. “Public health and policy interventions to reduce harm from tobacco smoking in young U.S. adults should explicitly address WTS toxicant exposures.”

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