The objective of our study was to identify waterpipe tobacco smoking advertisements and those that promoted a range of products and accessories used to smoke waterpipe tobacco. The content of these advertisements was analyzed to understand the messages portrayed about waterpipe tobacco smoking in young adult (aged 18-30) newspapers. The study methods include monitoring of six newspapers targeting young adults from four major cities in the Southeastern United States over a 6-month period. A total of 87 advertisements were found; 73.5% (64) were distinct and content analyzed. The study results showed that of the advertisements analyzed, 25% advertised waterpipe tobacco smoking, 54.7% featured waterpipe tobacco smoking and other tobacco use, 14.1% featured non-tobacco waterpipe variants (i.e. vaporizers), and 6.3% featured waterpipe apparatus accessories (e.g. charcoal, hoses). The sociability (34%) and sensuality (29.7%) of waterpipe smoking were promoted themes. Alternative to cigarette use messages (3.1%), and harm-reduction messages (17.1%) emphasized that smoking waterpipe tobacco using the featured accessory or waterpipe variant was a healthier experience than cigarette smoking. The study concluded that the messages that promoted waterpipe tobacco smoking to young adults are parallel to those used to promote cigarette use. Tobacco control professionals should continue to monitor young adult newspapers as a source of waterpipe-related advertising.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health