Collection: College Hookah
The popularity of waterpipe smoking, also known as hookah, has increased significantly amongst youth, specifically college students. Studies have found that about 30% of college students have smoked hookah tobacco before.1 Youth have also been shown to perceive hookah smoking as less harmful and more socially acceptable than cigarettes. Amongst college students, hookah is often associated with membership in a fraternity or sorority.2
Because of the rising trend in the use of hookah tobacco by college students, many hookah bars and Greek organizations host events that are specifically targeted towards students in college. These events are often called “College Night” and have discounts if a college I.D. is shown. The exclusivity may appeal to college students, who want a night out to themselves. Greek-related events hosted at hookah bars easily attract college students because the Greek organizations already have a presence on the college campus. In addition, many companies advertise “Back to School” promotions, featuring special sales and discounts on their products in celebration of the new school year. The lowered prices are especially attractive to students who are on a budget.
Another way that hookah bars appeal to a younger crowd is by resembling coffee shops and cafes. The atmosphere provides a trendy place for college kids to gather. Many hookah bars are located near college campuses, so it is easy and convenient for students to get there.
Yet, the growing prevalence of smoking hookah tobacco amongst college students has become a public health concern. One study found that hookah could lead to the initiation of smoking for non-users and persistent smoking for those who have smoked cigarettes.1 There is evidence to suggest that hookah smoking leads to many of the same consequences that cigarette smoking does.3 Because college students misperceive the health effects of hookah tobacco, the targeted efforts of hookah bars and other organizations to attract college students raises concern about the health dangers that young adults might encounter from smoking too much hookah.