Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1543–1554 | Cite as

Pilot Study of Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Among US Muslim College Students

  • Cynthia L. Arfken
  • Wahiba Abu-Ras
  • Sameera Ahmed
Original Paper


Waterpipe smoking is common among the young in Muslim-majority countries despite recent Islamic rulings on tobacco. US Muslim college students, especially immigrants, may be at high risk for smoking, but information is lacking. In this pilot study, respondent-driven sampling was used to sample 156 Muslim college students. Waterpipe smoking was common (44.3 %). Leading motivations to smoke were social and perceived low tobacco harm. Independent risk factors among the Muslim students were perception that friends and other students smoked, and ever drank alcohol. Personal belief that waterpipe smoking is prohibited in Islam was not significant. This pilot suggests that Muslim students are at high risk for waterpipe smoking and more definitive studies are needed.


Waterpipe smoking Muslim College students Religiosity Social influences 



This work was supported by a grant from the Institute on Social Policy and Understanding (


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia L. Arfken
    • 1
  • Wahiba Abu-Ras
    • 2
  • Sameera Ahmed
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeurosciencesWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA
  3. 3.Family and Youth InstituteCantonUSA

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