Objective: To assess the acute effects of smoking in Waterpipe (WP) smokers in Ajman, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Context: 202 male volunteers aged > 17 years were included. Blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate values of each participant, before and after a 30 minute smoking session, were measured and compared. Standardized questionnaires were also answered.
Results: Mean increases in systolic blood pressure (16 +/- 1 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (2 +/- 0.7 mmHg), heart rate (6.30 +/- 0.60 bpm) and respiratory rate (2 +/- 2 breathes/min) were observed (p < 0.001). 92% of smokers believed Waterpipe smoking (WPS) to be harmful to health and 77% of smokers took up WPS for reasons of leisure. Results from the questionnaire revealed a significant relationship between smokers' beliefs of WPS and attempts to quit smoking ie. smokers who believed waterpipe to be harmful were more likely to try to quit. Education had influence on smokers ideas on WPS. 69% of smokers who claimed hookah is harmful had university qualification and further 23% has highschool qualification.
Conclusions: Smoking Waterpipe has significant effects on both the cardiovascular and respiratory system. Waterpipe smokers despite sound knowledge, show little concern towards health. Education plays an important role and creates awareness about the hazards of smoking practices, including Waterpipe.