Survey: College Students Regard Hookah Smoking Safer Than Cigarettes

p>Many college students falsely consider hookah smoking safer than smoking cigarettes, according to a University of South Florida College of Public Health study.
Of the 478 undergraduate and graduate students surveyed, about 50.6 percent indicated that cigarette smoking is more dangerous than hookah smoking. The study, which aimed to determine the prevalence of hookah use among university students, was published online in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
The American Cancer Society describes hookah as “burning tobacco that has been mixed with flavors such as honey, molasses, or fruit in a water pipe and inhaling the flavored smoke through a long hose.”
Key findings in the USF student include:

  • 95.8 percent of the participants recognized the image of a standard hookah.
  • 74.6 percent indicated that hookah smoking is harmful for health.
  • 12.6 percent reported hookah smoking was not harmful; and 12.8 percent reported they were unsure of the harmfulness.
  • Of current hookah users, 55.3 percent reported smoking hookah once a month; 5.3 percent reported smoking every day.

According to, the ADA’s consumer website, hookahs have been shown to contain concentration of toxins.
“There is no such thing as a healthy tobacco product,” according to “Many non-cigarette alternatives are often marketed as healthier alternatives to smoking, but tobacco is harmful to your oral health and overall health.”
For more information on hookah smoking and other non-cigarette alternatives such as cigars, pipes and snuff, visit and search for “smoking, non-cigarette alternatives.”

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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