FRIDAY, Sept. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Tailored text messages cut hookah tobacco smoking by nearly half, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Darren Mays, Ph.D., M.P.H., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues randomly assigned 349 waterpipe tobacco smokers (aged 18 to 30 years) to control (no intervention), untailored, or tailored intervention arms. The interventions involved conveying risks of waterpipe tobacco through text and images and strategies to enhance motivation and support quitting, with the tailored messages personalized for baseline measures and text responses.

The researchers found that at six months, cessation was higher in the tailored arm (49 percent) compared to the control arm (29 percent; odds ratio, 2.4), and smoking frequency was lower in the tailored group versus the control arm (mean, 3.5 versus 4.3 days).

“Waterpipe tobacco smoking is often associated with other tobacco use among young people. As a public health community, we are very concerned about rising rates of dual- and poly-tobacco product use, particularly among adolescents and young adults,” Mays said in a statement. “In the future, it will be important to study how our intervention affects use of waterpipe along with other tobacco products, such as cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, among young people.”

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