HOW IS SMOKING HOOKAH/SHISHA BECOMING A SOCIAL TREND AMONG YOUTH?
Hookah smoking has gained popularity among youth and has become a social trend in many communities. There are several factors that have contributed to the increasing popularity of hookah among young people.
SOCIALISATION AND PEER INFLUENCE
Hookah smoking is often seen as a social activity that is done in groups, where friends gather to share a hookah pipe and smoke together. The social aspect of hookah smoking can be appealing to young people, as it provides a sense of community and belonging. Peer influence can also play a significant role, as young people may feel pressured to try hookah in social settings to fit in or be part of a group.
THE MISCONCEPTION OF SAFETY
Many young people perceive hookah smoking as less harmful than cigarette smoking. They may believe that because the smoke is filtered through water, it is less harmful to their health. However, research has shown that hookah smoke still contains toxic chemicals and carcinogens that can have serious health consequences, including lung cancer, heart disease, and other respiratory problems.
EXOTIC APPEAL AND MARKETING
Hookah smoking is often associated with an exotic and trendy image, with elaborate hookah pipes, flavoured tobacco, and a relaxed atmosphere in hookah lounges or cafes. The marketing of hookah as a trendy and fashionable activity, especially through social media, can attract young people who are seeking novel experiences and want to be part of a popular trend.
LACK OF AWARENESS ABOUT RISKS
Many young people may not be fully aware of the health risks associated with hookah smoking. There is a general misconception that hookah is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking or that it is less harmful because it is used occasionally or in social settings. However, research has shown that hookah smoking can have serious health consequences, including an increased risk of lung cancer, respiratory problems, and other health issues.
ACCESSIBILITY AND AFFORDABILITY
Hookah smoking may be perceived as more affordable and accessible compared to other forms of tobacco use, such as cigarettes. In some cases, hookah smoking may be seen as a cheaper alternative to smoking cigarettes, especially in regions where tobacco taxes are high.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE
Social media platforms play a significant role in shaping youth trends, including hookah smoking. Influencers and social media personalities often glamorise hookah use by showcasing it in their posts and stories, associating it with fun, relaxation, and a luxurious lifestyle. These portrayals can influence young people and contribute to the normalisation of hookah smoking as a social trend.
Peer influence plays a significant role in the initiation and maintenance of hookah smoking among young people. Being part of a peer group where hookah smoking is prevalent can create social pressure to participate and conform to the group’s behaviour. Young people may also feel the need to try hookah to fit in or be seen as cool or trendy among their peers.
It’s important to note that the social trend of hookah smoking among youth is concerning because it can lead to serious health risks. It’s crucial to educate young people about the risks associated with hookah smoking and provide accurate information about the potential harm to their health. Encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and promoting tobacco-free environments can help to reduce the social appeal and prevalence of hookah smoking among youth. If you are a young person who is considering trying hookah or currently using it, it’s important to be aware of the risks and seek accurate information from reputable sources. Quitting smoking, including hookah, is the best way to protect your health and well-being. If you need help quitting smoking or have questions about the risks associated with hookah use, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice and support.