News and Events

Orange Park High School SWAT Club Tackles Myths
About Hookah Tobacco
September 9, 2013

ORANGE PARK, FL- The Orange Park High School SWAT club recently hosted a “myth-busting” meeting regarding hookah tobacco use on September 9, 2013.

Participants were asked to decide if statements made about hookah were true or false--such as “Smoking hookah is safer because it does not contain nicotine” or “Using hookah is better because the smoke is cooled in the water”.

Hookah Myth Busting

OPHS SWAT Club Sponsor Christine Jump was surprised at some of the misconceptions students had. “I just assumed that most of my youth understood that hookah is still tobacco and is addictive,” she said. “I really was shocked at the number of students who admitted to trying hookah on one or more occasion.”

In Clay County, 24% of high school youth have ever used hookah and almost 10% of them use it regularly (Florida Youth Tobacco Survey Data, 2012). In addition, community health and youth service providers across the county are reporting an increased incidence of youth who smoke hookah.

Additionally, some parents are under the misconception that hookah is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, but it is not. Hookah tobacco contains addictive nicotine and other carcinogens known to cause health problems. In fact, a traditional hookah session of 45 minutes exposes people to smoke equivalent to 100 cigarettes. In 2006, a report by the United States Surgeon General concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Following the activity at Orange Park High School, the OPHS SWAT Club chose to educate their peers on the facts about hookah for their annual Red Ribbon Week celebration.

If you would like more information about hookah smoking, please contact the Tobacco Free Partnership of Clay County at