Many college students are making their way back to campus this month, and back to the habits -- good or bad -- that dorm-life promotes. A new study finds that young adults under 25, including high school grads and college students, are more likely to rate hookah and e-cigarettes as safer than cigarettes, when compared to 25 to 34-year-olds. This research was published today in Health Education & Behavior, a Society of Public Health Education journal.
Studying data from 2,871 smoking and nonsmoking young adults, ages 18-34, Dr. Olivia A. Wackowski and Dr. Cristine D. Delnevo found that a quarter of young adults believed hookah to be less risky than cigarettes -- a belief shared by current cigarette smokers and those who had never smoked cigarettes before.
"This is concerning as it suggests that even a substantial proportion of nonsmokers may view hookah as being a relatively safer and acceptable way to use tobacco," the researchers wrote.
The researchers also found the following:
"This might be associated with differences in advertising messages these groups are exposed to, the variety of flavors these different products are offered in, and in the case of e-cigarettes, possibly an inclination for younger people to attribute more positive feelings toward newer products that are seen as new and 'techy'," commented the study authors.
The study authors also found that the belief that some tobacco products were riskier than cigarettes did not stop people from using them. They speculated that promoting other tobacco products, such as snus, as safer may not encourage smokers to switch products but instead encourage new product uptake for both smokers and nonsmokers.
Materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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