Prevalence, knowledge and practices of shisha smoking among youth in Kampala City, Uganda

  • Christine Aanyu Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda
  • Daniel Kadobera Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda
  • Rebecca Rachael Apolot Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda
  • Angela Nakanwagi Kisakye Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda; African Field Epidemiology Network, Kampala, Uganda
  • Peter Nsubuga Global Public Health Solutions, Atlanta, USA
  • William Bazeyo Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda
  • John Bosco Ddamulira Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda
Keywords: Shisha smoking; knowledge; practice; youths


Introduction: globally tobacco use kills more than seven million people annually, a figure expected to rise to 8 million deaths every year by 2030. Though perceived as safe, shisha smoking is reported to have the same or worse health effects as cigarette smoking yet, this practice has gained popularity especially among youths globally. We assessed shisha smoking and factors associated with shisha smoking to support public health interventions.

Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted among 663 systematically selected youths aged between 18-30 years attending bars in two divisions of Kampala city Uganda. Data was analyzed using Stata version 12 and logistic regression model run to establish factors independently associated with shisha smoking.

Results: we found that 458 (86.4%) youths had low knowledge of the health effects of shisha and 193 (36.4%) smoked shisha. Majority of the respondents, 184 (97.4%) smoked flavoured and sweetened tobacco, 69 (36.5%) smoked on a weekly basis, 163 (86.2%) smoked in the company of friends, 162 (85.7%) shared shisha pipes. Factors associated with shisha smoking include smoking cigarettes adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 5.91, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 3.86-9.05); positive attitude (aOR: 3.89, 95% CI: 2.50-6.05); urban residence (aOR: 3.98, 95% CI: 1.99-8.00) and older age [25-30 years] (aOR: 2.13, 95% CI: 1.37-3.22).

Conclusion: the prevalence of shisha smoking is high with three in ten youths smoking shisha yet their knowledge about the health effects associated with shisha smoking was low. Shisha smoking ban should be implemented in all bars in Kampala as stated by the newly enacted tobacco law.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688