Professor Srijana Bajracharya presented a paper at the Academy of Business Research Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica on November 13th with a colleague from the West Liberty University.
The paper examined university students’ awareness, behavior, and their perception about a product, hookah, which is available globally through the internet market. It highlighted the importance of the role of businesses in public health arena.
There is no policy covering the use and marketing of hookah in many states in the United States and in most countries. While the general perception seems to be that Hookah is a harmless product and a good medium for the social interaction and economy, scientific research says it is as bad as or even worse than tobacco. According to the American Lung Association, “it is a new tobacco of 21st Century.”
Bajracharya's paper studied college university students’ awareness, perceptions, and behaviors regarding hookah use. The results indicated that the majority of students were aware of this product and agreed that it is a health risk. At the same time they perceived this activity as a cool thing to do. About 40% of those who were aware of hookah also had used it at least once.
The paper concluded that future research should focus on learning about the actual effect of hookah, its prevalence, and role of globalization on the use of this product around the world. It determined initiatives on education about hookah and prevention of its use should be started. The paper also said professionals from both public health and businesses should communicate with each other about balancing the outcomes: profit in businesses and the quality life in public health.