The Myths About Hookah

hookah_lizard1[heape]While there have been declines in teen cigarette use, other forms of tobacco (hookah, e-cigarettes) are gaining in popularity among teens. According to the nationwide Monitoring the Future study, 21 percent of high school seniors smoked a water pipe device, commonly known as a hookah, sometime in the last year.

Teens often may not know that hookah smoking can be as dangerous as cigarettes.

Here are some common myths about hookah smoking:

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We Need to Do More

mmrWhile the smoking rate in NYC is lower for youth and adults than the national rates, the recently released Mayor’s Management Report shows that the adult smoking rate, currently at 15.5%, has remained essentially unchanged since 2010.

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Cigarette Taxes and the Black Market

Alexander-Hamilton-9326481-1-401Alexander Hamilton introduced the first federal excise tax on tobacco products in 1794, but it was not implemented until the 1860s. Smuggling to evade taxes has been around ever since.

We know that higher prices for cigarettes save lives and deter youth from starting to smoke.  Every 10 percent increase in cigarette prices reduces youth smoking by about seven percent and total cigarette consumption by about four percent. Cigarette tax evasion makes cigarettes cheaper and reduces the public health benefits of excise taxes, as well as deprives New York City and State of much-needed revenue.

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