A Cross Sectional Study on Knowledge, Beliefs and Psychosocial Predictors of Shisha Smoking among University Students in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

2 College of Food and Agriculture, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.


Background: Smoking is now prohibited in all educational institutions and other public places in the United
Arab Emirates (UAE), but shisha smoking is considered as one of the major problems among the students population.
This study aimed to identify the (a) prevalence of ever shisha, current shisha and shisha dependency smokers among
university students in the University of Sharjah (UOS), (b) knowledge and belief differences among ever shisha,
current shisha as well as shisha dependency smoking students, (c) relationship between precipitating factors and shisha
dependency and (d) precipitating factors (stimulation, handling, pleasure, tension reduction, addiction (dependency),
automatism (habit) and social interaction, parents smoking behavior, knowledge and beliefs about smoking predict
shisha dependency among students in UOS. Materials and Methods: In this cross sectional study, 633 students
participated from UOS, UAE. Knowledge and Belief scale, Modified Reason for Smoking Scale and Fagerstrom Test
for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) were used to measure knowledge, beliefs, shisha dependency and predictive factors
of smoking behavior among undergraduate students in UOS. Results: Nearly103 (16.3%) of students were addictive
to shisha smoking based on FTND. Students had adequate knowledge that smoking led to cardiac problems; however,
their knowledge about the other consequences of smoking was inadequate and believed that smoking was not harmful.
There was a significant positive relationship between addiction, pleasure, social interaction, habit, parental smoking
behavior and shisha dependency behavior among current shisha dependency students. Habit, addiction, pleasure, social
interaction and parental smoking were the predictors of shisha smoking dependency among this population. Step wise
multiple regressions showed that social interaction was the highest significant predictor for shisha dependency behavior.
Conclusions: Hence, there is a need to enhance the knowledge and modify irrational beliefs about shisha smoking as
these students possess inadequate knowledge about consequences of shisha smoking.


Main Subjects