A cross sectional study on knowledge, beliefs and psychosocial predictors of Shisha smoking among University students in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Coumaravelou Saravanan, Amita Attlee, Nabil Sulaiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-909
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Beliefs
  • Knowledge
  • Precipitating factors
  • Shisha smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cancer Research


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