Hookah and alcohol use among young adult hookah smokers: A mixed methods study

Eric K. Soule, Tracey E. Barnett, Barbara A. Curbow, Michael D. Moorhouse, Robert M. Weiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: Hookah tobacco smoking has grown steadily in popularity among young adults in the United States. Little attention has been given to the relationship between hookah smoking and another behavior that is common among young adults - alcohol use. The purpose of this study was to examine hookah and alcohol use among young adults. Methods: Forty young adult hookah smokers (55% female) participated in focus group sessions on hookah use beliefs and a brief survey examining hookah and alcohol use including drinking alcohol before, during, or after smoking hookah. Results: Quotes from the focus groups indicated that alcohol use may promote hookah use among individuals who have little or no hookah smoking experience. Alcohol use, binge drinking, and alcohol use before, during, and after hookah use were common among the participants regardless of legal drinking age status. Nearly half of the participants preferred to drink alcohol while smoking hookah due to the improved physical and social effects they associated with combining the 2 behaviors. Conclusions: For some young adult hookah smokers, alcohol appears to enhance the hookah smoking experience and may play a role in hookah smoking initiation. Future research and interventions should address the association between hookah and alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-673
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Alcohol use
  • Hookah tobacco smoking
  • Young adults


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