Reported Health Problems Among Shisha or Waterpipe Smokers In Misurata, Libya
Background: Waterpipe or Shisha smoking is a major public health problem in Arab countries, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean region. This study was conducted to study the health problems and the effect of socio-demographic correlates on health problems among waterpipe smokers in Misurata, Libya.
Materials and Methods: A community based cross sectional study conducted among 242 regular waterpipe smokers in Misurata, Libya using a semi structured questionnaire from 1st January 2010 to 30th June 2010.
Results: The majority of smokers in this study (34.4%) were of the age group 35-44 years. (Mean age 41.2 and Standard deviation 10.92). Chronic cough, Hypertension, Diabetes, Breathlessness and Acid peptic disorder were the most commonly reported health problems among the shisha smokers. The presence of reported health problems such as chronic cough, hypertension, diabetes, breathlessness, recurrent respiratory infections and ischemic heart disease were significantly higher among those who were 35 years of age or above, those with duration of usage more than 20 years and those who smoke more than 3 times a week.
Conclusions:The most commonly reported health problems among the shisha or waterpipe smokers were chronic cough, hypertension, diabetes, breathlessness and acid peptic disorder. Age above 35 years, duration of shisha smoking for more than 20 years and smoking for more than 3 times a week were significantly associated with the health problems.
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