Twitter users, especially high-profile ones, have been found to be promoting the hookah use. A new study from Washington University founds that many prominent Twitter users are tweeting about how people should smoke using a Hookah water pipe.
High-profile users encouraging others
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Officials believes that smoking a hookah, like cigarettes, has a negative impact on the health of the person. Thus, promoting hookah smoking is not a good thing.
Approximately 14.5 billion tweets were found to include the word “hookah” from April-May 2014 as reported in the journal published by CDC Preventing Chronic Disease. The researchers randomly analyzed some 5,000 tweets from these, especially from influential users. For the study, high-profile users were taken based on the Klout score and number of followers.
The analysis showed most of the tweets were promoting hookah use, some were encouraging others to smoke while others were in favor of the hookah. In almost half of these tweets, users were either already smoking hookah or were willing to try it. Only 7% of the tweets talked about the hookah in a negative way, the study found.
“I want hookah. Smokin da hookah with good homies. Hookah sounds like a great idea tonight,” a sample tweet read.
Not good for young Twitter users
The researchers feel these tweets promoting smoking a hookah are not good for younger Twitter users. Young people are believed to be mostly influenced by the habits and attitudes of their peers. The use of a Hookah among middle school and high-school students has almost doubled from 2013 to 2014.
“Exposure to social media messages that present hookah in a positive light or as a normal behavior could influence the attitudes and behaviors of youth and young adults who view these messages,” said study author Melissa Krausse, a professor at Washington University.
Hookah, also called as Shisha, is a single or multi-stemmed water pipe used to smoke flavored tobaccos ot other herbs. Similar to cigarette smoking, the use of a Hookah may lead to lung cancer, respiratory disease, gum disease and even decreased fertility. Cancer-causing metals and toxic agents like carbon monoxide are known to be present in Hookah smoke.
A similar study on alcohol and marijuana showed nearly 250,000 tweets a day are related to marijuana ,while for alcohol the count was 400,000 tweets daily.