Aims: The objective was to determine the prevalence of smoking [cigarettes and/or narghile (i.e. water-pipe)] among university students and to examine multiple correlates.
Setting: Beirut, Lebanon.
Participants: A proportionate random sample of 1964 students from public and private universities in Beirut, Lebanon.
Measurements: Participants completed a self-administered anonymous questionnaire that included demographic and scholastic items and health behavioral aspects, including smoking, alcohol, physical activity, weight control measures and seat belt use.
Findings: The overall prevalence of smoking was 40% (21.1%, 7.6% and 11.3% of the students were smoking only narghile, only cigarettes and both cigarettes and narghile, respectively). Regression analyses showed that males, those of non-Lebanese origin, pursuing undergraduate degrees, performing risky weight control measures and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol had increased odds of smoking cigarettes. Also, age, high level of paternal education and field of study were significant predictors. Narghile smoking was significantly higher among males who drank excessive alcohol.
Conclusions: The authors advocate a collaborative effort to alleviate the consequences of smoking among university students.