Interventions for waterpipe smoking cessation
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2007
Wasim Maziak, Kenneth D Ward, Thomas Eissenberg, Wasim Maziak
Waterpipe smoking is a traditional method of tobacco use, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, but its use is now spreading throughout Europe and North America. It is smoked socially, often being shared between friends or family at home, or in dedicated bars and cafes that provide waterpipes to patrons. Because the smoke passes through a reservoir of water, waterpipe tobacco smoking is perceived as being less lethal than other methods of tobacco use. At least in some cultures, women and girls are more likely to use a waterpipe than to use other forms of tobacco, and it is popular among younger smokers. Accumulating evidence suggests that waterpipe smoking may be as addictive as other forms of tobacco use, and may carry similar or greater risks to health. To evaluate the effectiveness of tobacco cessation interventions for waterpipe users. We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Review Group specialized register, in June 2007. We also searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycINFO, using variant terms and spellings ('waterpipe' or 'narghile' or 'arghile' or 'shisha' or 'goza' or 'narkeela' or 'hookah' or 'hubble bubble'). We searched for trials, published or unpublished, in any language, and especially in regions where waterpipe use is widespread. We have also used our own existing bibliography, compiled from conducting an earlier exhaustive review of the literature on waterpipe smoking. We sought randomized, quasi-randomized or cluster-randomized controlled trials of smoking cessation interventions for waterpipe smokers of any age or gender. The primary outcome of interest was abstinence from tobacco use, preferably sustained and biochemically verified, for at least six months from the start of the intervention. Each author intended to extract data and assess trial quality independently by standard Cochrane Collaboration methodologies, but no eligible trials were identified. We found no completed intervention trials targeting waterpipe smokers. A pilot randomized controlled trial by the authors of this review is underway, and will be reported in future updates. Epidemiological and observational evidence suggests that waterpipe use is growing in popularity worldwide. It is widely and erroneously perceived to be less lethal than other forms of tobacco use. Women, girls, and young people are more likely to take up waterpipe smoking, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. More research is needed on its addictive properties, and on the associated health risks, both for users and exposed non-smokers. Evidence-based information about waterpipe's addictive and harmful properties should be developed and disseminated in order to deglamourise and denormalise its use. High quality randomized trials are needed to guide treatment of waterpipe smoking.
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