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PITTSBURGH, May 17, 2018 – Smoking tobacco from a waterpipe, also known as a hookah, accounted for over half of the tobacco smoke volume consumed by young adult hookah and cigarette smokers in the U.S., a new University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine analysis discovered.

Toxicant exposures – such as tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine – were lower, yet substantial, for those young adults who smoked tobacco just using a hookah, compared to those who smoked both hookahs and cigarettes. The research, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is published today in the journal Tobacco Control.

In the U.S., waterpipe tobacco smoking rates are increasing and cigarette smoking rates are decreasing, especially among young adults.

“Most hookah smokers in the U.S. are not daily users, whereas many cigarette smokers smoke multiple times a day, so it may seem that the vast majority of public health and policy-related interventions should be directed at cigarette smoking,” said lead author Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health, and dean of Pitt’s Honors College. “What our research shows is that hookah smoking contributes significantly to the burden of tobacco smoke-related toxicants inhaled by our

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