, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 81-86
Date: 22 Aug 2008

Prevalence of and Associations with Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking among U.S. University Students

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Abstract

Background

Although waterpipe tobacco smoking seems to be increasing on U.S. university campuses, these data have come from convenience samples.

Purpose

We aimed to determine the prevalence of and associations with waterpipe tobacco smoking among a random sample of students.

Methods

We surveyed a random sample of graduate and undergraduate students at a large, urban university. We used multivariate modeling to determine independent associations between belief-related predictors and waterpipe tobacco smoking.

Results

Of the 647 respondents, waterpipe smoking was reported in 40.5%, over the past year in 30.6%, and over the past 30 days in 9.5%. Over half of the sample (52.1%) perceived that tobacco smoking from a waterpipe was less addictive than cigarette smoking. In fully adjusted multivariate models, 1-year waterpipe smoking was associated with low perceived harm (OR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.68, 3.83), low perceived addictiveness (OR = 4.64, 95% CI = 3.03, 7.10), perception of high social acceptability (OR = 20.00, 95% CI = 6.03, 66.30), and high perception of popularity (OR = 4.72, 95% CI = 2.85, 7.82).

Conclusions

In this sample, lifetime waterpipe use was as common as lifetime cigarette use. Perception of harm, perception of addictiveness, social acceptability, and popularity were all strongly related to waterpipe smoking.