A study conducted by the Pakistan Medical Research Council (PMRC) revealed that of sheesha smoking’s prevalence among college and university students between 20 and 25 years of age in the country was 19.7 percent.
The study was conducted at 71 educational institutions which showed that sheesha smoking’s overall prevalence was19.7 percent, out of which 29.8 percent were male and 10.4 percent were females.
According to the report, 57.2 percent of young people in these universities started sheesha smoking between the ages of 17 and 18.
Islamabad has the highest sheesha smoking rate (28.1 percent), while Peshawar has the lowest (11.2 percent). Further, engineering institutes housed the highest percentage of sheesha smokers (29 percent).
It was also found that 23.8 percent of students smoked sheesha just for enjoyment. About 12.1 percent smoked in cafes.
The survey further revealed that around 12.1 percent of students stated that sheesha was less harmful than cigarette smoking and 3.3 percent students believed that smoke was passed through a filter.
PMCR Executive Director Dr. Huma Qureshi said that age, gender, socio-economic status and cigarette smoking were key predictors for sheesha smoking.
Knowledge regarding sheesha smoking is tremendously low and the majority considers the practice safer than cigarette smoking, she commented.