Cigarette alternatives like hookah and e-cigarettes are a hot thing among young adults and a new study has found that under 25s believe that these two are safer than cigarettes.
In comparison, adults who fall in the 25-34 years age group are less likely to rate hookah and e-cigarettes as being safer than cigarettes. The study also found that 25 per cent of 2,871 smoking and nonsmoking young adults between the age group of 18-34 rated hookah as being less risky than cigarettes.
“This is concerning as it suggests that even a substantial proportion of nonsmokers may view hookah as being a relatively safer and acceptable way to use tobacco,” the researchers wrote in a study published in Health Education & Behavior.
62.1 per cent adults in the age group of 18-24 believed that e-cigarettes were less risky than cigarettes and 32.7 per cent in the same age group rated hookah as less risky than cigarettes.
On the other hand 54.6 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds believed that e-cigarettes were less risky while 18.5 per cent of adults in the same age group believed hookah was less risky.
All in all over half of respondents believed that e-cigarettes were less risky than cigarettes and 11.4 per cent said they were unsure.
Researchers believe that the belief that hookah and e-cigarettes are less risky than cigarettes are because of the differences in advertising messages these groups are exposed to. Another factor that plays an important role in this varied sentiments is the possibility that the younger adult community is more inclined to try out new products that are seen as new and ‘techy’.
The study authors also found that the belief that some tobacco products were riskier than cigarettes did not stop people from using them. They speculated that promoting other tobacco products, such as snus, as safer may not encourage smokers to switch products but instead encourage new product uptake for both smokers and nonsmokers.