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Frontiers in Public Health

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This study aimed to assess the prevalence rate of smoking behavior (cigarette and waterpipe) and its association with obesity/ overweight among university students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Palestine. A cross-sectional study was conducted at a convenient sample of 10 largest universities in the West Bank- Palestine and Dubai- UAE. In total, 3800 students were randomly selected from the universities, with an 87.6% response rate. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. The key measures were: waterpipe smoking, weight, height, cigarette smoking, dieting to reduce weight, and perception and knowledge related to tobacco waterpipe smoking (TWP). Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated using the WHO cutoffs. The analysis included 3,327 students (54% from the West Bank and 46% from Dubai). About 16% of students in Dubai and 18% of students in the West Bank smoke cigarettes. Quarter (26%) of the students in Dubai and 32% of the students in West Bank smoke water pipes. 17% of students in Dubai and 18% of students in the West Bank reported that they smoke waterpipes to reduce their weight. Waterpipe smoking was found to have a significant positive association with obesity/overweight (p < 0.001). Smoking is very common among university students. Waterpipe smoking was associated with obesity. More research is still needed in this field to better understand the relationship between cigarette smoking and obesity.




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Medicine and Health Sciences


Smoking, Waterpipe, Obesity, University students, UAE, Palestine

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Open Access


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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series