Hookah Smoking among Brazilian University Students: An Exploratory Survey on the Prevalence and Perceptions of Addiction and its Harmfulness
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

This study aimed to determine the prevalence, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions of hookah use in a population of undergraduate students at a large public university in Brazil. 


The sample consisted of 1348 undergraduate students aged over 18-year-old. They completed structured questionnaires on demographic information and close-ended questions on the past and current experiences of smoking hookah. The data underwent descriptive analysis and binary logistic regression.


Finally, 1298 valid survey forms were obtained from printed and digital questionnaires. More than half (53.9%) of participants reported having tried hookah at least once, however, only 10.8% reported they had experienced it within the last 30 days. The majority of the studied population presented acceptable beliefs about the harmfulness and addictive capacity of hookah smoking. However, when comparing the perceptions of those who had smoked and those who had never smoked hookah, and also, the perceptions of users and non-users, significant differences were observed. Students who were users or had already tried hookah showed a tendency to underestimate the deleterious effects of this type of smoking.


It could be concluded that hookah smoking was common among Brazilian university students. In addition, preoccupying misperceptions of hookah’s harmfulness and addictive capacity were found. The results showed that the epidemic of hookah smoking, especially among young people, has spread far beyond the Arab world and the Persians. Accordingly, preventive measures must be taken if this population is to be protected from addiction and other serious health problems.

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