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Trajectories of Hookah Use: Harm Perceptions from Youth to Young Adulthood

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Objectives: Hookah use has increased in United States, especially among young adults. This study investigates the role of harm perceptions of hookah use over a 2-year period in a nationally representative sample of youth and young adults as they transition to young adulthood. Methods: Using a probability-based, nationally representative, longitudinal cohort of youth aged 15-21, we analyzed the 7536 participants who completed all 4 waves. Ordered logit growth models examined changes over time in hookah use, and whether that relationship varies by baseline harm perceptions. Results: Results show that age, sex, parental education, race, and smoking status are significant predictors of hookah use. Additionally, those who perceive hookah as "less harmful" than cigarettes have the highest probability of current hookah use over time, compared to those with more accurate harm perceptions. Conclusions: This study helps confirm the influence of harm perceptions of hookah tobacco on hookah use among youth and young adults. Increased public education efforts aimed at youth and young adults can help shift knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding the health consequences of hookah use.
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Keywords: ADOLESCENT HEALTH; HARM PERCEPTIONS; HOOKAH; LONGITUDINAL SURVEY; TOBACCO

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Vice President, Evaluation Science and Research at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC;, Email: [email protected] 2: Managing Director, Evaluation Science and Research at Truth Initiative Washington, DC 3: Research Analyst, Evaluation Science and Research at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 4: Senior Research Assistant, Evaluation Science and Research at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 5: Project Manager, Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 6: Senior Research Associate, Evaluation Science and Research at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 7: Managing Director, Evaluation Science and Research at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 8: Chief Evaluation Science and Research Officer at Truth Initiative

Publication date: May 1, 2017

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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