An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.


Mary Martinasek PhD, RRT
Allison Calvanese, BS
Frederic B. Montz, BS
Nicole Tosto, BS
Kimberly Dobrinski, PhD, MLS (ASCP)


Waterpipe tobacco smoking results in the inhalation of carcinogens, bacteria and heavy metals; however, despite the negative health effects, waterpipe tobacco smoking or hookah smoking continues to be a favored social smoking behavior for young adults. High levels of carbon monoxide can impair normal brain function and put individuals at increased health risk. The purpose of this study was to measure the carbon monoxide levels in the ambient air of 10 hookah lounges surrounding college campuses in the metropolitan area of Tampa, Florida.


The study consisted of repeated measurements of ambient air carbon monoxide inside the hookah lounges over 4 hours during peak times of use.


Of the 10 hookah bars, 7 had levels above what is considered harmful to human health. These data provide evidence of high levels of CO produced in indoor hookah lounges that varied and were not predictable based on cigarette smoking allowed, ventilation systems, and whether doors were opened or closed.


Stricter regulation is needed in hookah lounges to avoid toxic exposures by patrons.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 9, Number 6, November 2022, pp. 1103-1110(8)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.