An Emerging Problem of Shisha Smoking among High School Students in Ethiopia

Selamawit Hirpa, Andrew Fogarty, Adamu Addissie, Linda Bauld, Thomas Frese, Susanne Unverzagt, Eva Johanna Kantelhardt, Sefonias Getachew, Wakgari Deressa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Shisha smoking is also known as hookah, water pipe, goza, and nargile. Shisha use among the young is increasing globally. Shisha smoke results in a high concentration of carbon monoxide, tar, nicotine, and heavy metals which can be toxic to humans, especially with chronic exposure. This study aims to determine the prevalence and risk factors of shisha smoking among in-school adolescents in Ethiopia. Four regional states in Ethiopia (Oromia, Amhara, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region, Tigray) and the capital city (Addis Ababa) were the study areas. A two-stage cluster sampling approach was employed to produce a representative sample. From the sampling frames in the study areas, 36 high schools were selected randomly. A multi-level logistic regression analysis was used to account for cluster-specific random effects, the effect of individuals', and school-level variables for ever-use of shisha. A total of 3355 secondary school grade 9 and 10 students aged between 13 and 22 years took part in this study. A total of 86 (2.6%) and 20 (0.6%) of the study participants, reported that they had ever smoked or were current smokers of shisha, respectively. Of all study participants, 38.6% perceived shisha as less harmful than cigarettes and 48.5% reported that they do not know which was more harmful to health. Students were more likely to ever use shisha if they had friend/s who smoke shisha (AOR = 16.8, 95% CI: 6.4-44.3), ever smoked cigarettes (AOR = 8.2, 95% CI: 3.4-19.8), ever used khat (AOR = 4.2, 95% CI: 1.9-10.4), ever used marijuana (AOR = 3.9, 95% CI: 1.4-11.1), ever used smokeless tobacco (AOR = 3.1 95% CI: 1.1-8.4), and students had received income from their parents (AOR = 3.1 CI: 1.1-8.8). Prevalence of ever and current use of shisha among high school students is low in Ethiopia compared to many countries in Africa. The majority of adolescents perceived shisha as less harmful to health than cigarette smoking. Health education about the harmful effects of shisha should be delivered to adolescents, along with information on other substances like khat, cigarettes, marijuana, and smokeless tobacco to prevent initiation of substance use.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


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