Systematic Review on International Practices in Controlling Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking


Background: Waterpipe tobacco smoking has becoming popular especially among young people worldwide.Smokers are attracted by its sweeter, smoother smoke, social ambience and the misconception of reduced harm.The objective of this study was to systematically review the effects of waterpipe tobacco policies and practicesin reducing its prevalence. Materials and
Methods: A systematic review was conducted electronically using thePubMed, OVID, Science Direct, Proquest and Embase databases. All possible studies from 1980 to 2013 wereinitially screened based on titles and abstracts. The selected articles were subjected to data extraction andquality rating.
Results: Three studies met the inclusion criteria and were eligible for this review. Almost allof the waterpipe tobacco products and its accessories did not comply with the regulations on health warninglabelling practices as stipulated under Article 11 of WHO FCTC. In addition, the grisly new warning labels forcigarettes introduced by Food and Drug Administration did not affect hookah tobacco smoking generally. Indoorair quality in smoking lounges was found to be poor and some hookah lounges were operated without smokeshop certification.
Conclusions: Our findings revealed the availability of minimal information on the practicesin controlling waterpipe smoking in reducing its prevalence. The lack of comprehensive legislations or practicesin controlling waterpipe smoking warrants further research and policy initiatives to curb this burgeoning globale pidemic, especially among the vulnerable younger population.