Dokha: An Emerging Public Health Issue as a Form of Tobacco Smoking in the Middle East


Background: Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable death across the world today and thesmoking rates among men in the Arab world are amongst the highest in the world. Smoking of dokha, a traditionalArab tobacco is common in some of the Middle East countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Iran. Thisreview focuses on the prevalence, pattern and health effects of dokha use in the Middle East. For this purposean electronic search was performed in the following databases and websites: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Proquestand Google scholar up to December 2012. The search strategy was based on Internet search for the synonyms ofdohka or midwakh. From the results of the review it emerged that younger people are the most common usersof dokha. Hence effective outreach health education programs, targeting adolescents, especially school studentsbefore they take up the habit of smoking, may thus curb the emergence of the problem.