The waterpipe is a centuries-old element of Middle Eastern culture that has witnessed a recent resurgence in popularity especially among Arab youth. This popularity is commonly associated with a misperception that the waterpipe is less harmful and less addictive than the cigarette. Recent evidence from research conducted mostly in the Middle East shows that waterpipe smoking is addictive and associated with several health risks. It also demonstrates that waterpipe smoking can thwart smoking cessation efforts by cigarette smokers, as well as lead to cigarette smoking in tobacco-naïve youth. Dissemination of such knowledge to the public and policy makers is instrumental in starting to respond to the waterpipe epidemic among youth in the Middle East.

Simultaneous Arabic translation will be provided

Wasim Maziak Founding Director, Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies; Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Florida International University

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