Waterpipe smoking has increased dramatically worldwide in recent years, with an estimated 100 million daily users. Research on this traditional Middle Eastern tobacco use method is in its infancy, and little is known about users' cessation-related attitudes and experiences. A random sample of 268 narghile (waterpipe) smokers (40% female; mean age=30 years; range=18-68) was obtained from cafes and restaurants in Aleppo, Syria. The majority of users (86.5%) believed they could quit using waterpipes at any time, but that belief was inversely related to perceived dependence, with only 48.7% of those who thought they were "very hooked" believing they could quit. Interest in quitting was expressed by 28.4% of subjects, with the majority (89.2%) reporting health concerns as a primary reason, and 59.2% having made an unsuccessful quit attempt in the past year. In a logistic regression model, independent predictors of interest in quitting included being married, having smoked for fewer years, not increasing the frequency of smoking over time, and having family members who do not smoke a waterpipe and disapprove of its use. Results indicate that a sizable percentage of waterpipe users express interest in quitting and have tried unsuccessfully in the past to quit. Waterpipe use needs to be considered in developing effective tobacco use cessation programs in the Middle East.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health