Background:Turkey has launched an public ad campaign against waterpipe tobacco smoking.
Aim:To create awareness about the risks and health effects of waterpipe smoking.
Methods:Prior to the ad campaign, two surveys were carried out: a qualitative survey ( 6 focus groups) aiming to test and develop the public ad concepts(each ad concept focusing on a different aspect of waterpipe smoking – sharing, flavor and myths about waterpipe smoking)and a pre-campaign quantitative survey (Total sample size= 1,282)aiming to understand the perception toward waterpipe smoking and to measure the attitude about the key messages of the campaign.
Results:The awareness about the health effects of waterpipe smoking is not as high as those of cigarette smoking.The intention to quit smoking cigarette is stronger than quitting waterpipe smoking (54% for cigarette smoking vs 24% for waterpipe smoking). Greater number of people advise cigarette smokers to quit smoking than they do for waterpipe smoking (77% advise for quitting cigarette smoking while 43% advise for quitting waterpipe smoking). The ratio of people, who think that smoking waterpipe is harmful to health, is 72% (this ratio is almost 100% for cigarette smoking as shown in other surveys.) The awareness about the negative health effects of smoking waterpipe is low .At least one third of people believe at the myths about smoking waterpipe(the ratio of persons, who says “definitely true” or “probably true” for the statements: 36% for “smoking waterpipe is not as addictive as smoking cigarette”; 31% for “smoking waterpipe is less harmful than smoking cigarette because it contains flavor”; 40% for “smoking waterpipe is less harmful than smoking cigarette because it is smoked less frequently;32% for “smoking waterpipe is less harmful than smoking cigarette because hookah smoke is filtered through water
Conclusions:The attitude toward waterpipe smoking is expected to change after public ad campaign