Background: Epidemiological and observational evidence suggests that waterpipe use is growing in popularity worldwide.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of cigarette and water pipe tobacco use among pupils aged 13-17 years in the urban area of Sousse, Tunisia and to identify the factors which predict current cigarette and/or waterpipe smoking in this population.
Methods: Across-sectional study was carried out on a representative sample of schoolchildren aged between 13 and 17 years in colleges and public secondary schools of the urban area of Sousse. We used a pre tested and self administered questionnaire to measure tobacco consumption. The significance level for all analyses was p<0.05. Statistical analysis was conducted with SPSS 10.0 software.
Results: Participants were 1569 youth. Fifty two percent of them were male. The mean age of the sample was 15+/-1.5 years. Total cigarette smoking percentage for ever and current use were 33.1% and 7.6% respectively. Total water pipe smoking percentage for ever and current use were 19.3% and 5.2% respectively. Overall, the total percentages of cigarette and water pipe smoking (ever and current) were higher for male and aged pupils. Multivariate regression analyses showed that the two types of tobacco use were related.
Conclusion: Despite the growing adoption of water-pipe smoking, there remains limited research in this area. Increased surveillance and additional research are necessary to address this growing threat to public health.