OBJECTIVES Although youth cigarette smoking has declined in the United States, use of alternative tobacco products, such as hookah, has increased. This study assesses changes in prevalence of use from 2011 to 2013, and examines factors associated with current hookah use among North Carolina high school students in 2013.METHODS Data came from the North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey in 2011 (n = 4,791) and 2013 (n = 4,092). STATA (StataCorp LLC) logistic regression survey procedures account for the complex survey design and sampling weights.RESULTS Prevalence of reported current hookah use significantly increased from 3.6% (95% CI: 2.8-4.5) in 2011 to 6.1% (95% CI: 4.9-7.5) in 2013 while reported lifetime hookah use increased from 9.8% (95% CI: 8.0-12.0) in 2011 to 12.6% (95% CI: 11.0-14.4) in 2013. Correlates of current hookah use included having a weekly disposable income over $50 (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.25-3.35), currently smoking cigarettes (AOR = 4.57, 95% CI: 1.80-11.62), and living with hookah users (AOR = 6.45, 95% CI: 3.21-12.93). Participant self-reports of "liking" or positively commenting on tobacco products on social media were associated with current hookah use (AOR = 1.83, 95% CI: 1.84-4.52). Frequent exposure to online tobacco advertisements (AOR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.13-2.28) were also associated with current hookah use.CONCLUSIONS Comprehensive product specific communication and policy interventions are needed to educate youth about the dangers of hookah use and reduce social acceptability among youth. To decrease hookah use in North Carolina, policymakers should consider restoring funding for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs, and equalizing tobacco tax rates for all tobacco product types.
- Journal Article