Hookah3 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.
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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.