Smoking cigarettes among adolescents is on decline but they are hooked on to the traditional hookah of Mughal period that is still seen in the village side in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. but the students involved here in the study are not from the northern India but from the United States, whose numbers are on the rise.
One in five American students of the high school in the U.S.A are smoking these water pipes to smoke, according to a recent study.
Hookahs are actually water pipes that are used to smoke specially made tobacco that is usually flavoured. About 18% of the 5,540 students surveyed nationwide reported using a hookah in the past year. Titled, “Hookah Use Among U.S. High School Seniors”, the study has found the strange preference for the centuries-old hookah.
“Hookah use is not less harmful or addictive than cigarettes,” Joseph Palamar, lead author of the study at New York University, told Chicago Tribune. “There is a common misperception that the water in hookah filters out the bad things, like nicotine … but that simply isn’t true,” he added.
The pleasant taste of hookahs and its social activity, more like the craze for Facebook, could be the motive for teens to take on to use it. Cigarettes don’t taste good, but smoking hookah, with flavours like strawberry, other fruit flavours, its sweet smell make it more popular among the teens, said another media report.
The study has concluded its findings based on the data taken from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, which reported that hookah smoking among high-school seniors in 2013 rose to 21%. In fact, those who reported that they had ever smoked cigarettes declined from 40% in 2012 to 38% in 2013, according to the data.
The study’s findings also confirm earlier research that students from rich families are more likely to use hookahs, especially among males and students.
“Hookah smoking is NOT a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes” and “secondhand smoke from hookahs can be a health risk for non-smokers,” cautioned the survey.