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Alternative Tobacco Products: Use, Adverse Effects, and Communication Patterns; Adverse Effects of Mainstream Tobacco-Based Hookah Smoke in Young Adults

Principal Investigators: William Carroll, Terry Gordon

Funding Mechanism:  National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID Number: 3P30CA016087-34S1

Award Date: 7/2/2014

Institution: New York University School of Medicine


The health effects of waterpipe (hookah) tobacco use are not fully understood. Of particular concern is the common misconception that inhaling hookah smoke is less harmful than inhaling cigarette smoke because it is “filtered” through water. The goal of this clinical exposure study is to evaluate whether the inhalation of mainstream tobacco smoke generated by hookah smoking produces changes in the cardiopulmonary system that could result in acute and chronic adverse health effects. Specific aims are: (1) to ask current hookah users to smoke hookah in a clinical setting and then to characterize the exposure concentrations of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, black carbon, elemental and organic carbon, carcinogenic agents, and trace elements; and (2) to examine cardiopulmonary changes and inflammatory markers of tobacco exposure. To accomplish these aims, researchers will recruit 40 healthy young adults aged 21 to 30 who are current hookah smokers to smoke hookah tobacco in a controlled clinical setting. Researchers will measure a variety of indicators, including changes in pulmonary function (e.g., forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume), cardiovascular function (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood cotinine levels), airway epithelial cells, and blood and exhaled breath condensate markers of inflammation. Researchers will also evaluate the chemical composition and carcinogenic components of particulate matter and gases in mainstream hookah smoke. Research findings may be used to inform regulatory actions related to waterpipe tobacco.