Background and objectives: Shisha smoking, one of the commonest methods of smoking tobacco among Arabs, increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of shisha smoking among male students of three colleges and to identify factors associated with shisha smoking.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 500 male students of three colleges (medicine, applied medical sciences and dentistry). Data were collected from 371 students using a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: The overall prevalence of shisha smoking was 12.6% (8.6% shisha only and 4.0% both shisha and cigarettes). Thirty students (63.8%) started shisha smoking at ages of 16 to 18 years. Seven students (15%) smoked shisha daily. Cafiotas or restaurants were the favorite places for smoking (70.2% of students). There was a high prevalence of shisha smoking among students whose mothers had a secondary (19.1%) and higher (53.3%) education.
Conclusions: There was a high prevalence of shisha smoking among university students. The majority of students started shisha smoking at a young age. Public health measures, including the banning of smoking in public places are recommended.