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Authors Fakhsheena Anjum, Sadia Shakeel, Sana Ghayas, Wajiha Iffat
Description <div style="text-align: justify">The objective of the present work is to study the awareness and causes of shisha (waterpipe) smoking among adolescents in Karachi, Pakistan. A cross-sectional study was conducted among the youth aged 16-25 years in various shisha bars/cafes of Karachi, based on convenient sampling. A total of 145 respondents i.e. males (n =107, 73.79%) and females (n = 38, 26.2%), participated in the study. More than 40% of the participants started shisha smoking at the age of 16-18 years and around 70% smoked shisha occasionally. One of the interesting and leading facts observed during study that were associated with initiation of shisha smoking were curiosity for shisha smoking (23%), followed by hanging out with friends (21%), pleasure-seeking (18%), peer pressure (13%) and boredom (12%). Among 145 participants who had ever smoked shisha, the majority (61.8%) were current smokers. Majority (59.43%) of respondents thought that shisha is less harmful than cigarettes and contains less nicotine than cigarettes (62.75%). More than 50% agreed that Shisha smoking is an efficient stress-coping strategy and their family knew about this habit. Shisha smoking is quite popular among Pakistani adolescents and awareness regarding its dangers is alarmingly low. Policy makers should play a key role in reducing the spread of shisha smoking.</div>