Hookah Smoking: Characteristics, Behavior and Perceptions of Youth Smokers in Pune, India

  • Kakodkar, Pradnya V. (Medilinkers Research Consultancy) ;
  • Bansal, Shruti S. (Dr. DY Patil Dental College and Hospital)
  • Published : 2013.07.30


Background: Hookah smoking has been referred to as a global tobacco epidemic by public health officials. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics, behaviour and perceptions related to hookah smoking among the youth smokers in Pune. Methods: Two hundred and eighty established hookah smokers participated in this study. Data was collected using a 29-item questionnaire, constructed using three main domains: Characteristics (socio-demographic and personal), behaviour and perceptions (about harmful effects in comparison to cigarette smoking). Results: The results indicated that the mean age of starting hookah smoking was 17.3 years; 75% of participants did not have parental acceptance; light-headedness, dizziness and headache were most common reported nicotine effects, post hookah smoking. Hookah smoking on a daily basis was reported by 24.6% participants. The mean time of hookah session was 1 hour and 19 minutes. 68.2% participants were reported to smoke hookah in hookah-cafes and 35.7% participants were found to share the hookah. Some 66.7% participants had no intention to quit. Most of them (71-80%) had misperception about the safety of hookah smoking over cigarette smoking and 54-82% participants were unaware of health effects. Conclusions: Educational intervention is urgently needed to create awareness among the youth about the harmful effects of hookah smoking.


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