Hookah on the Rise With U.S. Teens

Pass the pipe, brah. One in five U.S. high-school seniors has smoked from a hookah in the past year. A new study in Pediatrics shows hookah smoking among high-school seniors increased 21 percent over the past year. In contrast, cigarette use has slightly declined. While lead study author Joseph Palamar says cigarette smoking tends to be associated with “lower socioeconomic status and lower parental education,” hookah use tends to be associated with wealthier high-school students, especially ones that are white and male. The study notes that “given the cost of frequenting hookah bars, it is not surprising that wealthier students, as indicated by higher weekly income, are more regular visitors.” Not only does hookah use bring “many of the same health risks” as smoking cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it actually delivers higher amounts of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide to its users.