Shisha waterpipe use and awareness of health risks among young adults in a semi-rural underprivileged community in North West England
Happe Hoque 1, 2
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University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire, United Kingdom
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, United Kingdom
Paula Jane Whittaker   

University of Manchester, Room 2.545, Stopford Building, Oxford Road, M13 9PT Manchester, United Kingdom
Publish date: 2018-08-30
Submission date: 2018-05-11
Final revision date: 2018-07-30
Acceptance date: 2018-08-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(August):31
Waterpipe smoking has become increasingly popular among young adults across the globe. Evidence suggests waterpipes have overtaken cigarettes in popularity among university students in the UK. This survey aimed to measure the prevalence of use, awareness of the tobacco content and associated health risks of waterpipes among young adults in a non-university semi-rural underprivileged community in England.

A self-completed questionnaire was distributed by six schools and colleges to young adults aged 16–25 in Tameside, North West England.

A total of 210 young adults completed the survey, of these 12% smoked cigarettes and 16% smoked waterpipes. Of those that smoked waterpipes, 45% smoked at home and 88% smoked in shisha bars. Of the respondents, 62% did not know that shisha waterpipes contained tobacco and 18% believed that waterpipes were less harmful than smoking cigarettes. There was no difference in knowledge of tobacco content, or of the associated health risks, between those who smoked waterpipes and those that did not. The majority of respondents (81%) stated that if they wanted to know more about how shisha tobacco could affect their health they would access information via the internet. Social networking websites was by far the most popular route for communication for messages about the health risks associated with smoking shisha waterpipes.

These results suggest that waterpipes may have overtaken cigarettes as the method of choice for smoking tobacco among the young adult population in the UK.

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