Objective: Waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) is considered a global epidemic that is spreading among youth. Our analysis was conducted to compare the national baseline prevalence rate estimates of WTS among Arab boys and girls. Design, Setting and Participants: The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) is a school-based survey using standardized self-administered questionnaires; it employs a two-stage cluster sampling technique to obtain a representative sample of youth (13-15 years of age). We conducted a secondary data analysis of nationally representative GYTSs available from 16 Arab countries. Main Measures: Youth who self-reported smoking waterpipe at least once in the past 30 days were considered to be current waterpipe tobacco smokers. National weighted WTS prevalence rate estimates along with respective 95% confidence intervals were reported for boys and girls. Results: Pooled GYTS data from 16 Arab countries yielded a total of 31,359 youth. Overall, 10.6% of the respondents were current waterpipe tobacco smokers, with boys (13.7%) having significantly higher estimates than girls (7.2%). Overall, current WTS prevalence rate estimates ranged from .9% in Oman to 34.2%, in Lebanon. The WTS epidemic was more predominant among boys and girls, respectively, in the West Bank (42.8% and 24.2%), Lebanon (38.6% and 30.5%) and Jordan (25.7% and 14.5%). Conclusion: Among Arab boys and girls, WTS represents a growing strain of the tobacco epidemic that requires immediate attention.
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