Introduction: There is a rising prevalence of waterpipe smoking worldwide, but still a paucity of information on perceptions toward quitting waterpipe use. We set out to establish the beliefs and perceptions of café waterpipe smokers toward quitting waterpipe smoking in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Methods: A cross-sectional study. A random sample of 20 of 91 cafés serving waterpipe tobacco in Bahrain was taken. A questionnaire was administered in each café to 20 participants aged 18 and above.
Results: Three hundred eighty participants completed questionnaires from waterpipe smokers. Eighty-four percent of participants were Bahraini and 71% had a university degree. Mean age was 28.9 years. Average age of waterpipe smoking initiation was 20.3 years. The majority of waterpipe users chose flavored tobacco. Sixty-one percent smoked waterpipe tobacco daily with a mean smoking time of 2.6hr/day. Seventy-two percent considered waterpipe tobacco as harmful as or more harmful than cigarettes, but 67% considered cigarettes as more addictive. Eighty-two percent stated that they could quit waterpipe at any time, but only 40% were interested in quitting. Interest in quitting smoking was related to 4 variables: a physician mentioning the need to quit smoking, being non-Bahraini, having a family with a hostile attitude toward waterpipe smoking, and not considering oneself "hooked" on waterpipe tobacco.
Conclusions: Waterpipe smokers in Bahrain cafés are frequent and high users. Health professionals must consider waterpipe smoking in all consultations and health promotion messages. A partnership between health professionals and disapproving members of families may be an effective strategy in encouraging waterpipe smokers to quit.