One hookah user tells the New York Daily News the appeal of smoking it as a teen was the social aspect. "Hookah allowed us to have a space for something to do — and unlike drinking or smoking weed, we weren't going to get in trouble for it."
Another cigarette alternative, e-cigarettes, have also come under fire recently for questionable health claims. (Via blu Cigs)
Now, a similar battery-operated device, called the hookah pen or e-hookah, consisting of flavored vapor that the user inhales, is also growing in popularity. (Via YouTube / Shishaa)
Because e-cigarettes and other similar devices have not been fully researched and have yet to be regulated by the FDA, their health affects are not fully understood.
But according to Medical News Today, one of this new study's authors says hookah pens might be pushing people toward using an actual hookah by "normalizing" smoking as an acceptable thing to do.
And since hookah users inhale more nicotine than they would with a cigarette, hookah can be more addictive and pose the same or more health risks to the younger audience it attracts. (Via CNN)
The study surveyed more than 5,000 high school seniors between 2010-2012. It also found adolescents who live in a big city, have educated parents, and earn a higher income were more likely to use hookah.