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College Student Beliefs and Behavior Regarding Sharing When Smoking Hookahs

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Objectives: We examined college students' beliefs and behavior regarding sharing when smoking a hookah, a practice that may involve substantial risk of disease transmission. Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional Web-based survey of undergraduate ever users of hookah (N = 970) at a US university in 2007. Results: Hookah sharing started at initiation of hookah use. The first-time participants smoked hookah, 96.9% shared it, and 97.5% were with friends either in a hookah lounge (59.5%) or at a friend's home (30%). Participants shared a hookah when they first smoked it because sharing was acceptable with friends, family, or trusted others, normative etiquette, not problematic/harmful, cheaper, or the only smoking option. Participants did not use a mouth tip when they first smoked a hookah because it is not necessary with friends/family, there was no tip available, they were unaware of tips, or did not want to use one. Conclusions: Overwhelmingly, hookah sharing started at smoking initiation. Efforts are needed to create an environment in which sharing hookah practices are less acceptable such as increasing awareness of potential health risks of sharing, particularly among youth, and providing disposable hoses, disposable mouth tips, and proper hookah device cleaning practices in private and public hookah venues settings.
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Keywords: COLLEGE STUDENTS; DISEASE TRANSMISSION; HEALTH RISK-TAKING; HOOKAH; SMOKING; WATERPIPE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Director, Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (CBEACH), San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Data Manager, Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (CBEACH), San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA 3: Study Coordinator, Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (CBEACH), San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA 4: Data Analyst, Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (CBEACH), San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA 5: Research Assistant, Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (CBEACH), San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA 6: Director, Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (CBEACH), San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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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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