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Addict Behav. 2016 Oct;61:16-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 May 4.

Emerging adulthood themes and hookah use among college students in Southern California.

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Keck School of Medicine of USC, 2001 N. Soto Street, 3rd Floor Mail, Los Angeles, CA 90032. Electronic address:
Keck School of Medicine of USC, 2001 N. Soto Street, 3rd Floor Mail, Los Angeles, CA 90032.



Hookah (or waterpipe) use is increasing worldwide with implications for public health. Emerging adults (ages 18 to 25) have a higher risk for hookah use relative to younger and older groups. While research on the correlates of hookah use among emerging adults begins to accumulate, it may be useful to examine how transition-to-adulthood themes, or specific thoughts and feelings regarding emerging adulthood, are associated with hookah use. This study determined which transition-to-adulthood themes were associated with hookah use to understand the risk and protective factors for this tobacco-related behavior.


Participants (n=555; 79% female; mean age 22) completed surveys on demographic characteristics, transition-to-adulthood themes, hookah, and cigarette use.


Past-month hookah use was more common than past-month cigarette use (16% versus 12%). In logistic regression analyses, participants who felt emerging adulthood was a time of experimentation/possibility were more likely to report hookah use. However, transition-to-adulthood themes were not statistically significantly related to cigarette use.


The profile for hookah use may differ from that of cigarettes among emerging adults. Themes of experimentation/possibility should be addressed in prevention programs on college campuses and popular recreational spots where emerging adults congregate. These findings can inform future studies of risk and protective factors for hookah use among emerging adults.


Emerging Adults; Hookah use; Prevention; Young Adults; cigarette use; waterpipe use

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