Water pipe tobacco smoking: are the Bahraini smokers aware of its health effects?

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Ebrahim Khalil
Sajida Mansor Ayyad
Fatima S. Sharaf Al-Alawi
Hasan A. Ali Khalil
Muyassar Sabri Hassan Awadalla
Govindaraj Vaithinathan Asokan *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Govindaraj Vaithinathan Asokan | agvaithinathan@uob.edu.bh


The tobacco epidemic kills half of its users annually and 600,000 deaths occur in people exposed to cigarette and water pipe tobacco (WT) smoking. A population-based cross sectional study was conducted to explore the knowledge and perceptions on health effects of WT smoking amongst Bahraini adults in the popular coffee shops of Bahrain and in women’s congregations. Randomly, 206 Bahraini adults of both genders were selected and distributed with a developed questionnaire to collect data; results were analyzed using SPSS (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Among the WT smokers, the highest proportion (45%) was observed between 21 and 30 age group and in the higher educational category. Majority smoked daily. The leading motives of WT smoking were meeting friends, passing of time and pleasure. Many smokers believed WT as less harmful than cigarettes, but affect the respiratory system, and causes: cancers, cardiovascular disease and pregnancy-related disorders. The knowledge scores were significantly higher in the younger age group, higher educational qualifications, and higher income. A considerable proportion of smokers perceived WT smoking as a sign of maturity, acceptable by the society. The perception scores were significantly higher in women and in the age group of >40. This study has revealed a lack of knowledge amongst the Bahraini adults who assume that health risks of WT are lower than cigarettes demanding further research to evaluate WT smoking risks, health effects, environmental effects of smoke, and regulatory services in Bahrain for a responsive approach to curb the WT tobacco epidemic.

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