Study Shows One in Five High School Seniors Smokes Hookah

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-07_d2422c00d4.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- A new study shows that nearly one in five high school seniors in the U.S. admit to smoking hookah. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics by Doctor Joseph Palamar, who says there is a common misconception about hookah smoking. "I think hookah actually tends to be perceived to be safer than smoking cigarettes," Palamar said.

"It really isn't safer. People think that because you're smoking through water that it might filter out some of these bad things for you, but that really isn't the case."

Palamar says he believes the number of hookah smokers will increase. He urges educators and public health officials to relay the dangers of smoking to students.

"It will take a much different approach, because they perceive it as being not as dangerous as smoking," Palamar said. "It's more socially accepted, and use is much less stigmatized than cigarette smoking."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio