Researchers to Study the Impacts of Health Warning Labels on Young Waterpipe Users in Florida

Researchers are working on a five-year study—funded by the Florida Department of Health’s Esther King Biomedical Research Award—to adapt health warning labels on waterpipes in Florida. Currently, they are recruiting participants 21 and older who will be asked to complete a confidential, brief survey and attend one focus group session through Zoom.

Waterpipe smoking—also known as hookah—has become a leading tobacco-use method across the United States, which may be fueled by the widespread misperception that it is not as harmful as cigarettes. The goal of the present study is to investigate if pictorial health warning labels on hookah devices are more effective than no labels in increasing harm perception and intention to quit, as well as in reducing smoking satisfaction, intensity, and exposure to toxicants.

The study is collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, including Taghrid Asfar, M.D., M.S.P.H., assistant professor, Florida International University, Florida Tobacco-Free Workgroup, University of Memphis, Food and Drug Administration, as well as with tobacco control media and advocacy specialists and youth-oriented anti-tobacco campaigns experts.

“For the past decade, our team has been at the forefront of working together to provide evidence of the harmful and addictive potential of waterpipe smoking, as well as to elucidate its complex nature for regulatory and policy purposes,” Dr. Asfar said.

To advocate for the adoption of health warning label policies and disseminate knowledge about the harmful effects of waterpipe smoking, specifically towards youth, the team will also partner with the Golin, Tobacco-Free Workgroup, as well as with the Truth Initiative.

To participate in the study, please call or email Alejandra Casas, a research assistant at the Miller School of Medicine, at (305) 243-0362 or at Eligible participants who participate in the study will be compensated up to $66 for their time and effort.

Written by Amanda Torres
Published on January 27, 2021