Curiosity About and Susceptibility Toward Hookah Smoking Among Middle and High School Students
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Curiosity About and Susceptibility Toward Hookah Smoking Among Middle and High School Students

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Prev Chronic Dis
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      Hookah smoking has increased among young people. Curiosity and susceptibility may be associated with experimentation or established use. Because tobacco use behaviors are established primarily during adolescence, our objective was to examine factors that may increase the risk of future tobacco product use among youth.


      We analyzed data from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a nationally representative survey of US students. Analyses were restricted to youth who had never smoked a hookah and stratified by their ever having used other tobacco products. The prevalence of hookah curiosity and susceptibility was assessed by sociodemographic characteristics, perceptions of harmfulness and addictiveness of hookahs, and peer use of hookahs. Associations between covariates and curiosity and susceptibility were assessed by using multivariable-adjusted regression.


      Overall, 29.1% of students reported any hookah curiosity or susceptibility. Curiosity was reported by 14.6% of those who never used tobacco products and by 45.9% of those who ever used tobacco products. Hookah susceptibility was reported by 15.6% of never-users and 52.5% of ever-users. Regardless of ever having used other tobacco products, odds of curiosity and susceptibility were higher among students with perceptions of reduced hookah harmfulness and addictiveness and among those who perceived high levels of hookah use among peers.


      Nearly 3 in 10 youth who never smoked a hookah (6.9 million) reported hookah curiosity or susceptibility, and prevalence was highest among those who had ever used other tobacco products. These findings reinforce the importance of educating youth about the dangers of all tobacco products and dispel misperceptions about the harmfulness and addictiveness of hookah smoking. Continued surveillance of youth curiosity, susceptibility, and use of hookahs can inform public health policy and practice.

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