Back to Conference page
The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: 1- assess evidence for addiction among waterpipe smokers 2-construct a primary dependency scale for waterpipe smoking
Methods: Exclusive waterpipe smokers were selected and interviewed from a rural male Egyptian cohort. A smoking intensity index was created by summing up scores of daily tobacco consumption and first smoking time after wake up. Subjects were then classified into highly, moderately, and slightly dependant according to this index. The resulting groups were compared to other dependency scale items.
Results: 150 waterpipe smokers were identified with mean age of 45 years. Most were married (93%) and had no school education (67%). The following evidence of addiction was observed: (a) of those who never tried to quit, 80% wanted to do so, compared to 94% of those who had tried to quite (p < 0.05); (b) the mean age of initiation was inversely correlated with most of the dependency index items (p<0.001); (c) the group of highly dependent waterpipe smokers had the highest scores for other items in the Fagerstrom scale (p<0.05) and were less likely to have tried quitting compared to slightly addicted smokers (41% vs. 88%, p<0.001).
Conclusion: waterpipe smoking shows clear evidence of being an addictive behavior. The smoking intensity index we developed provides a primary assessment tool to assess dependence among such smokers. Exclusive waterpipe smoking was also linked to many attributes (age, marital status, and education), which may provide useful information for prevention activities.