A study by College of Public Health, University of South Florida (USF) found that, out of 54.4 percent of students who have used hookah at some point in their lives, total 16.3 percent of college students were prevalent to hookah smoking.
While most respondents acknowledged that hookah smoking has harmful effects, more than half of the sample perceived hookah to be a safer alternative than cigarette smoking, and 13 percent thought hookah wasn't harmful at all.
Regardless of their perception of harmfulness, 30 percent of those who never smoked hookah reported they would consider smoking it in the future.
Jaime Corvin, USF assistant professor of global health, said that even the World Health Organization estimated that one 45-minute session of smoking hookah was equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes, therefore hookah smoking which delivers nicotine, could be just as addictive as cigarettes.
However, the reasons why students significantly underestimate the potential hazards smoking hookah were unclear, but Corvin concluded that the lighter, softer smoke emitted from the water pipe and its fruity, pleasant smell might contribute to the misperception among the students.
The study is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and got appeared online in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
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