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Study: Students Who Use Hookah, More Likely to Smoke Cigarettes

Study: Students Who Use Hookah, Snus More Likely to Smoke Cigarettes

A new study finds that young teens who smoke hookah or use snus are more likely to move on to cigarettes.

“Hookah and snus could directly lead to cigarette smoking either by introducing teens to the practice of inhaling smoke, in the case of hookah, or creating an addiction to nicotine that can be better satisfied by cigarette smoking in the case of snus,” said lead author Samir Soneji of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Lebanon, New Hampshire in an article on Reuters.com

Sonjei also said it’s “possible that some teens are vulnerable to tobacco use, in general, and would have started smoking cigarettes even if they hadn't tried hookah and snus earlier.”

“The water-pipe device known as a hookah, with its series of tubes and mouthpieces, is almost always used to smoke tobacco and carries many of the dangers inherent in cigarette smoking,” the article said. “In one hour, hookah users may inhale as much smoke as they would from smoking 100 or more cigarettes.”

Snus, “a smokeless product similar to dipping tobacco, was developed in Sweden in the 1700’s and introduced by U.S. tobacco companies in the mid-2000s when clean indoor air laws restricted cigarette smoking, the authors of the new study write,” the article said.

During the 2010-11 school year, Soneji and colleagues surveyed more than 2,500 young people from the ages of 15 to 23 the article said, and asked students “if they had ever smoked cigarettes or used hookah or snus, and again two years later, focusing on frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking.”

“Of the more than 1,500 young people who completed both surveys, the vast majority - 1,048 - had never smoked cigarettes at the time of the first survey,” the article said. “Seventy-one of the never-smokers had used water pipes to smoke tobacco, and 20 had used snus.”

“The finding that use of both of these products at baseline predicted smoking at follow up is important, as it suggests that they may be a gateway to smoking,” said Dr. Pamela Ling, professor of medicine at UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco in the article.

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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