Date of this Version
Introduction: Among young adults, use of hookah tobacco (HT) is an emerging health-risk behavior. The goals were to demonstrate that (1) the prevalence of ever-use and current use of HT increased among U.S. young adults (18–30 years old) in the period from 2010 to 2015 and (2) the patterns of HT use differed across diverse demographic subpopulations of young adults.
Methods: We merged and analyzed data from the 2010–2011 and 2014–2015 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The sample (n = 55,352) was representative of the young adult population in the U.S. Two binary measures were the ever and current use of HT. The significance level was 5%.
Results: The rate of current use of HT increased from 1% in 2010–11 to 2% in 2014–15 (CI = 0.6%:1.1%). The rate of ever-use increased from 7% to 12% (CI = 4.2%:5.6%). The over-time increase was not uniform: the increase was most rapid among 26–30 year-old adults, non-Hispanic Black and African American adults, and in Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. regions. HT ever-use, overall, was associated (all p’s < 0.001) with many sociodemographic factors and current tobacco-use behaviors. The rate of HT ever-use was 16% for daily and 23% for occasional cigarette smokers, 23% for users of smokeless tobacco products, 37% for cigar smokers, and 55% for smokers of regular pipe (filled with tobacco).
Discussion/conclusion: HT use is becoming increasingly more popular among young adults in the U.S. Methods should target not only cessation of cigarette smoking but use of all tobacco products.