We examined prevalence rates of water pipe tobacco smoking among young people as a first step in assessing the health implications of this form of tobacco use.
We examined water pipe use with data from the 2007 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, which assessed tobacco-related beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors among the state's middle and high school students.
Four percent of middle school students and 11% of high school students reported ever having used a water pipe. Adolescent boys were significantly more likely than adolescent girls to use water pipes, and African American adolescents were significantly less likely than adolescents from other racial/ethnic backgrounds to do so. Those who indicated ever having tried cigarettes and those who reported positive attitudes toward the social nature of cigarette use were more likely to have tried water pipes.
Water pipe use appears to be widespread among middle and high school students. Further research is needed to assess the health risks associated with water pipe tobacco smoking as well as young people's attitudes toward this form of tobacco use.
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