PREVALENCE AND BEHAVIOUR OF SMOKING MEDWAKH AMONG ABU DHABI-UNITED ARAB EMIRATES’ POPULATION: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
Keywords:United Arab Emirates;, Current Medwakh user;, Dhokha;, Hookah;, Arabian Gulf Region Ventilator
Medwakh is one of the non-cigarette products that has recently emerged as a public health problem in the United Arab
Emirates. It is a narrow pipe filled with dried tobacco leaves and is mixed with herbs, spices, or at times with a bark known
as 'dhoka' (meaning 'dizzy' in Arabic). The purpose of the current study is to determine the prevalence and behaviour of
Medwakh smoking among the general population of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. For this objective, the authors
conducted a descriptive, quantitative, cross-sectional study. The three main outcomes were never smokers, current
smokers (6 months or older) and the number of Medwakh smoked per day. Smoking behaviour, sociodemographic factors
and the attitudes of the study participants were assessed in this study. The outcomes from the regression models identified
the association between each outcome measure and age, gender, income, education level, marital status, smoking for ?6
months, and parental and peer smoking. The prevalence of the current Medwakh intervention in Abu Dhabi was found to
be 22.5%. The average age at which the respondents started smoking was 25 years. Daily Medwakh users smoked a median
of 3.0 per day. The highest prevalence rate for Medwakh smoking was reported among men (29.9%), single individuals
(24.2%), and younger age groups (18–37 years-37.5%) with bachelor's degrees (29.3%). The same outcome was also true
among the users, who smoked for more than 6 months (41.9%) and the participants who had colleagues or parents with
smoking habit. The study also found income differences among the study participants. The awareness about damage
reduction was extremely high among the Medwakh users (78.8%). No participant reported that they were denied a Medwakh
purchase on the basis of their age. Medwakh is considered as a herbal substance with no health hazard in Abu Dhabi, United
Arab Emirates and is prevalently consumed at high rates. It has also heavily burdened the perceptions of harm. Further
research into smoking behaviour is needed to determine the rest of the variables that heavily influence the smoking
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