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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(7):4319-23.

Hookah smoking: characteristics, behavior and perceptions of youth smokers in pune, India.

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Medilinkers Research Consultancy, 2Dr DY Patil Dental College and Hospital, Pune, India.



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.


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).


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.


Educational intervention is urgently needed to create awareness among the youth about the harmful effects of hookah smoking.

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