Shisha Smoking and Associated Factors among Medical Students in Malaysia


Background: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of shisha smoking and associated factorsamong medical students in Malaysia. Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at theManagement and Science University from December 2011 until March 2012. The questionnaire consisted offive sections including socio-demographic, social environment, knowledge about shisha, psychosocial factors,and personal shisha smoking behavior. Obtained data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the SocialSciences (SPSS 13). T-test was used to determine the relationships between shisha smoking and socio-demographiccharacteristic.
Results: A total number of 300 medical students participated in this study. Mean age was 22.5±2.5years. The majority were female, Malay, single, from urban areas (67%, 54%, 97%, 73%; respectively). Theprevalence of shisha smoking among medical students was found to be 20%. The study revealed that manystudents believed that shisha does not contains nicotine, carbon monoxide, does not lead to lung cancer, dentalproblems and does not lead to cardiovascular diseases (25%, 20.7%, 22.3%, 29%, 26.7%; respectively). Ageand sex were found to be significantly associated with smoking shisha status among medical students (p=0.029,p<0.001; respectively). Furthermore, having parents, siblings and friends smokers of shisha were found to besignificantly associated with shisha smoking status (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001; respectively). Furthermore, familyproblems, problems with friends, financial problems and university life were found to significantly associated withshisha smoking status among medical students (p<0.001, p=0.002, p<0.001, p=0.002; respectively).
Conclusions:There is a high prevalence of shisha smoking and a poor knowledge about its impact on health among medicalstudents. More attention is needed to focus on medical education in this regard. The policies that are currentlyemployed in order to reduce the cigarettes smoking should be applied to shisha smoking and shisha products.