Correlates of hookah use and predictors of hookah trial in U.S. Young adults

Andrea C. Villanti, Caroline O. Cobb, Amy M. Cohn, Valerie F. Williams, Jessica M. Rath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Introduction Hookah, or waterpipe, tobacco smoking has increased among young adults (YAs) in the U.S., but few prospective studies have examined predictors of hookah use. The current study examined correlates of hookah use and predictors of hookah initiation at a 6-month follow-up in a nationally representative, prospective sample of U.S. YAs. Methods Data were drawn from a subset of participants aged 18-24 years at study entry from two waves of the Legacy Young Adult Cohort Study. Wave 5 was completed in July 2013 by 1,555 participants and 74% (n=1,150) completed follow-up 6 months later in January 2014. Weighted bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted in June 2014 to estimate the prevalence and correlates of ever and past 30-day hookah use and to examine associations between baseline covariates and hookah initiation 6 months later. Results At baseline (Wave 5), almost 25% of the sample had ever used hookah and 4% reported past 30-day use. Alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette use were more prevalent among ever and past 30-day hookah users than among never users. Eight percent of never users at baseline reported trying hookah at the 6-month follow-up. Significant predictors of hookah trial in a multivariable model included college enrollment; alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette use; and perceptions that hookah is less harmful than cigarettes. Conclusions Results highlight rapid transitions in hookah use and several risk factors for initiation. Future studies should examine how these factors could be used as intervention targets to reduce tobacco use in this vulnerable age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-746
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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