Assessing and Predicting Susceptibility to Waterpipe Tobacco Use Among College Students.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


College youth susceptible to waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) represent an important target to intervene upon in order to prevent their uptake of this product. This study examined the performance of a 4-item susceptibility measure to WTS to predict future waterpipe use and correlates of susceptibility.


A cohort of college students from 11 university campuses in North Carolina and Virginia completed an online survey in 2012 and again in 2013 that assessed WTS susceptibility and subsequent waterpipe use. Tobacco use, marijuana use, binge drinking, and sensation seeking were also assessed.


Overall, 964 students who reported having never used waterpipe tobacco in 2012 completed the online surveys both years. Overall, about 27% of college youth were susceptible to WTS each year. Participants susceptible in 2012 were 2.5 times more likely to report having used waterpipe tobacco the subsequent year than non-susceptible participants after controlling for significant correlates of waterpipe use. Correlates of susceptibility were: being male, past 30 day cigarette smoking, use of other tobacco products, binge drinking and marijuana use, as well as higher sensation seeking.


A 4-item WTS susceptibility measure predicts future WTS. This measure can be used to identify and intervene upon susceptible college youth to curb further exploration of WTS. Indeed, a nontrivial proportion of college students found susceptible go on to use waterpipe tobacco within a year.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lipkus, IM; Reboussin, BA; Wolfson, M; Sutfin, EL

Published Date

  • September 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1120 - 1125

PubMed ID

  • 25542922

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4542741

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-994X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1462-2203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/ntr/ntu336


  • eng