Setting: While waterpipe and cigarette smoking have been well studied in Syria and Lebanon, data from Jordan are limited.
Objectives: To characterize the relative prevalence of waterpipe tobacco and cigarette smoking among university students in Jordan, and to compare the demographic and environmental factors associated with each form of tobacco use.
Design: We surveyed 1845 students randomly recruited from four universities in Jordan. We used multivariable logistic regression controlling for clustering of individuals within universities to determine associations between demographic and environmental covariates and waterpipe tobacco and cigarette use.
Results: Waterpipe tobacco smoking rates were 30% in the past 30 days and 56% ever, while cigarette smoking rates were 29% in the past 30 days and 57% ever. Past 30-day waterpipe tobacco smoking rates were 59% for males and 13% for females. Females had substantially lower odds than males of being current waterpipe (OR 0.12, 95%CI 0.10-0.15) or cigarette (OR 0.08, 95%CI 0.05-0.14) smokers. Current cigarette smoking was more significantly associated with markers of high socio-economic status (SES) than waterpipe tobacco smoking.
Conclusion: Waterpipe tobacco smoking is as common as cigarette smoking among Jordanian university students. While cigarette smoking is consistently associated with high SES, waterpipe tobacco smoking is more evenly distributed across various populations.