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Review Article
 
Waterpipe smoking: Are we facing a new global epidemic?
Mohamed Farouk Allam1, Khaled Mahmoud Abd Elaziz2
1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain.
2Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.

Article ID: 100004P16MA2015
doi:10.5348/P16-2015-4-RA-2

Address correspondence to:
Mohamed Farouk Allam
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Medicine, University of Cordoba
Avda. Menéndez Pidal, s/n Cordoba 14004
Spain
Phone: +34 957 218 278
Fax: +34 957 218 573

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How to cite this article
Allam MF, Abd Elaziz KM. Waterpipe smoking: Are we facing a new global epidemic? Edorium J Public Health 2015;2:11–14.


Abstract
Our review aimed to compare prevalence and motivations of waterpipe smoking in different countries and related hazards. Published studies about waterpipe smoking in occidental countries and the Eastern Mediterranean region, and its hazards were reviewed. The global epidemic of waterpipe or shisha smoking is on the rise. Studies reported alarming levels of waterpipe smoking among adolescents which ranged from 6–34% in the Eastern Mediterranean region and 5–17% among American adolescents. The high prevalence of this epidemic among youth is attributed to the misconceptions about its safety. The principal factors that increase this habit are its social acceptance, its novelty, its availability in numerous appealing flavors, and its relatively low cost. In Western countries, the use of quick lighting charcoal disks impregnated in gasoil rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and benzene could add more hazards to waterpipe smoking. Strict regulations to control waterpipe tobacco selling are urgently needed, together with anti-smoking campaigns specifically launched against waterpipe smoking to raise awareness about its hazards.

Keywords: Charcoal, Shisha, Smoking, Waterpipe

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Author Contributions
Mohamed Farouk Allam – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Analysis and acquisition of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual contents, Final approval of the version to be published
Khaled Mahmoud Abd Elaziz – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Analysis and acquisition of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual contents, Final approval of the version to be published
Guarantor of submission
The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.
Source of support
None
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
Copyright
© 2015 Mohamed Farouk Allam et al. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.