Impact of religious rulings (Fatwa) on smoking

J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2003 Dec;33(3 Suppl):1087-101.


An interview survey was carried out in a rural village and two nearby schools in Qalyubia Governorate to assess the pattern of smoking and knowledge about religious ruling (Fatwa) and its impact on the quit attempts. Also, a similar survey was conducted in 6 Shisha cafés in Cairo. The results showed that the majority of respondents (81% among rural adults, 83.2% among Shisha café patrons, 73.3% among rural youth and 81.4% among rural students) knew about the Fatwa on smoking. Higher proportions of all participants thought that smoking is a sin (97.3% among rural adults, 80.8% among Shisha café patrons, 94.4% among rural youth and 98.4% among rural students). There was a significantly higher knowledge about Fatwa on smoking among men than women. This indicates a successful outreach program targeted mainly to men through mosques. Knowledge about Fatwa on smoking increased significantly with increased exposure to antismoking messages from religious leader. Knowledge about the Fatwa on smoking or belief that smoking is a sin had no significant effect on quit attempts. Our results point to the need for intensive efforts on the part of religious leaders to translate the current belief that smoking is a sin into quitting among smokers. Better results may be achieved through personal interactions in small groups rather than in mosque settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Religion*
  • Restaurants
  • Rural Health
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Smoking Prevention