Use of any tobacco product by teens and adolescents, including hookah, is unsafe. A study in the August 2018 Pediatrics, "Social Aspects of Hookah Smoking Among U.S. Youth", suggests parents may help decrease its use with no-smoking rules at home.
Youth hookah smoking is a social behavior, researchers found, with the majority of use happening in homes. The study examined three social components of hookah smoking among more than 20,000 teens and adolescents in 6th to 12th grade. The components were frequency of use, place of use and social groups associated with use.
Researchers found that, overall, 10.5 percent of youths reported smoking hookah more than once in their lifetime. They also found that more than half of students overestimated hookah smoking prevalence within their same grade. The most common locations for hookah smoking were a friend's house (47.7 percent), their own home (31.8 percent), or another family member's house (20.8 percent).
These results show that it is important to consider the social aspects of hookah smoking when counseling youth and adults on the risks of hookah smoking, authors said, and that encouraging adoption of smoke-free home rules could help de-normalize hookah use among youth.