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Alternative Tobacco Products: Use, Adverse Effects, and Communication Patterns; Patterns of Communication and Information Transfer among Hookah Users

Principal Investigators: William Carroll and Scott Sherman

Funding Mechanism:  Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority (IDDA)

ID Number: 3P30CA016087-34S1

Award Date:  7/2/2014

Institution: New York University School of Medicine  


Little is known about what factors could lead to initiation and maintenance of hookah (waterpipe) use. The goal of this project is to assess risk perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs about waterpipe tobacco smoking, use intentions, and patterns of use among a diverse population of young adults, and to explore the nature and extent of communication about waterpipe tobacco. Specific aims are: (1) to study a diverse urban population of young adults and measure the percentage of respondents who either currently use waterpipe tobacco or are likely to start using it in the near future; and (2) to assess how hookah users gather and share information about waterpipe smoking. To accomplish these aims, researchers will conduct a cross-sectional Internet survey of a representative sample of 1,500 young adults aged 18-30 who are full- or part-time students at the City University of New York. Survey questions will address use history, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and communication patterns related to waterpipe tobacco. Next, researchers will conduct 12 focus groups (8-10 participants each) with a subset of survey respondents in order to explore beliefs, attitudes, and communication patterns regarding waterpipe tobacco smoking in more detail. Eight focus groups will include current waterpipe tobacco users and four will include people who do not currently use waterpipe tobacco but report a high intention to use it in the next six months. After the focus groups, researchers will code each participant's use of social media to track communication about hookah use. Study findings may inform regulatory actions related to waterpipe tobacco.