Research Team Develops a Better Assessment of Hookah Use among Young Adults

Published: May 17th, 2013

Category: Faculty News

Public Health & Health Professions, Behavioral Science & Community Health

During a time in which public health efforts have successfully decreased cigarette use in the U.S., alternative tobacco products are becoming popular with adolescents and young adults. Dr. Tracey Barnett, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, was awarded an R-03 from the National Cancer Institute to study hookah use in young adults.

To date, much of the hookah literature has examined negative attitudes and comparisons with cigarette smoking. However, the lack of negative attitudes among users does not inform intervention projects. Along with co-Investigators Mike Moohouse, Ph.D., Barbara Curbow, Ph.D., Craig Velozo, Ph.D., and two doctoral students, Eric Soule, Jr., MPH and Parker Hinson, MPH, the research team will use outcomes expectancy theory to investigate why young adults, ages 18-25, partake in hookah smoking.

After conducting focus groups with both college students and non-college individuals, they will develop and validate a new measure to assess positive and negative hookah behaviors and attitudes. This project will provide a framework to better understand why young adults would initiate a new tobacco product, when public health efforts have successfully reduced cigarette smoking. Click here for more information.