Hookah: An Increasing Issue on the Public Agenda

March 20, 2008 at 1:47 am 5 comments

Today, on SocialBttrfly‘s Twitter feed, womenshealth tweeted the following statistic:

“Hookah smoke has as much

or more nicotine and tar as

many filtered cigarettes.”

Hookah has recently been in the news due to health warnings concerning hookah users and their vulnerability to contracting herpes. A March 18, 2008 article from Colorado State University describes an incident where two students are believed to have contracted oral herpes from hookah activities due to the swapping of saliva that occurs.

However, other health effects are possible. Until I received the above tweet, I was unaware on the dangers of hookah. I have personally never done hookah nor really care to, but I know it is an increasing trend on many college campuses. A March 5, 2008 article in The Daily Orange describes this trend more:

“The sociality of hookah is also evidenced on a national level, with hookah bars beginning to open up in major cities as it becomes a trendy activity among teenagers and 20-somethings. “

Apparently, I am not the only one who is less informed about the health consequences of Hookah. According to a study conducted by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), 79% of hookah smokers believe the flavored tobacco is safer than cigarettes. Type ‘hookah’ in Google news and evidence that the topic is increasing its prominence on the public agenda appears ten-fold.

So my next thought was: Are there any social marketing initiatives or PSAs that currently address this issue?

The only PSA I could find was this one on Youtube. The source I have yet to identify.

If you know of more hookah PSAs or social marketing campaigns, please let me know.

For more information on the effects of smoking Hookah, visit CDC’s online factsheet or Womenshealth.gov’s informational description for more information.

Yes, I did say this issue was brought to me in a tweet on Twitter by womenshealth, as in womenshealth.gov. For more information regarding the use of Twitter by non-profits, causes and government agencies, Nedra Weinreich of the social marketing blog, Spare Change, wrote an incredible post on this topic that I know you’ll find helpful.


Entry filed under: Campaigns, Interesting Articles, Social Marketing. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. brandon fitch  |  April 3, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    this page need more info about hookahs

  • 2. Ryan Kinner  |  June 11, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Well I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I have personally completed several test groups in which I compared the top 3 name brand filtered cigarettes vs the top 3 Hookah name brand tobacco flavors in a series of Tar and Nicotine tests. I found that not only did the Hookah tobaccos have almost a 40% lower tar residue percentage, I found that the level of Nicotine is decreased by nearly 30%. That being said, I am a double major in both Bio-Chemistry and Agricultural Science. The tests were done using brand new equipment as to eliminate the risk for sample contamination. I would encourage anyone who is doing the research to find an independent lab to proceed with any type of testing.

  • 3. socialbutterfly4change  |  June 11, 2008 at 11:42 pm


    Thank you so much for the insight about Hookah. Good to hear that there’s at least lower amounts of Nicotine in it. How do those percentages compare to the amount people inhale through second hand smoking of cigarettes? more or less? and again, thanks for the info.

    Shortly after I posted this, a couple people from some state agencies contacted me about hookah campaigns educating the public about hookah….along the lines of the anti-tobacco movement, which I personally thought was really cool. Because as I said in my post, I don’t think a lot of people, especially young people, know what hookah actually is…I didn’t know there was Nicotine in it at all when I first heard of it. I’m sure there’s some sort of stats out there that describe more, but at least with the effort, people can make their choice off more accurate information.

  • 4. health effects of hookah smoking  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:19 am

    […] tar as many filtered cigarettes.??? hookah has recently been in the news due to health warnings conhttps://fly4change.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/hookah-an-increasing-issue-on-the-public-agenda/HookahViews.com (Hookah Views)Q: Are there any other proven side effects to long-term hookah […]

  • 5. aria  |  September 22, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    @ Ryan

    I own a hookah lounge in Fort Collins Colorado and i would love to review your study. I am in college myself and some friends of mine were interested in conducting a similar study. If you get a chance please contact me at narghilenights@gmail.com. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you.


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Meet Alexandra Rampy, aka SocialButterfly

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