Harmful Constituents and Respiratory Effects of Waterpipe Smoke

Lead PI: Ana Navas-Acien

Unit Affiliation: Mailman School of Public Health

September 2016 - August 2019
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The social culture of waterpipe use, the perception that waterpipe smoking is less harmful than cigarettes, and wide availability of flavored tobacco products influences waterpipe popularity among younger adults. The goal of this study is test whether different waterpipe products and puffing regimens generate unique profiles of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) that will yield a continuum of toxic health effects in in vivo and in vitro models. Study aims are: (1) to define the constituents of mainstream and secondhand waterpipe smoke using different puffing regimens and several different popular shisha products/flavors; (2) to conduct comparative in vitro and in vivo exposures to different waterpipe products and assess multiple effect endpoints of toxicity in lungs and in vitro airway epithelia; and (3) to identify biomarkers of exposure from studies in Aim 2 and examine human urine samples from individuals with recent mainstream/secondhand exposure to waterpipe smoke. Researchers will then use bioinformatics approaches to integrate human in vivo and in vitro data from the three study aims to develop an overall hazard index.


Johns Hopkins University


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS


waterpipe smoke biomarkers harmful constituents