Waterpipe tobacco smoking: The critical need for cessation treatment

Kenneth D. Ward, Kamran Siddiqi, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Adam C. Alexander, Taghrid Asfar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations


Background: Waterpipe use has spread globally, and has substantial negative health effects and nicotine dependence potential. A growing literature addresses cessation-related experiences of waterpipe users, but this literature has not been summarized nor is guidance available on developing and testing cessation interventions. Method: Authors gathered key empirical papers on waterpipe cessation-related topics, including observational studies about users' perceived ability to quit, interest in quitting, quit rates, and cessation trials. Based on this review, recommendations are made to guide the development and rigorous evaluation of waterpipe cessation interventions. Results: Many users want to quit and make quit attempts, but are unsuccessful at doing so on their own; therefore, developing and testing waterpipe cessation interventions should be a priority for global tobacco control efforts. Early efforts have tested waterpipe cessation interventions designed for, or adapted from, cigarette smoking programs. Conclusions: Waterpipe-specific cessation programs that address unique features of waterpipe smoking (e.g., its cultural significance, social uses, and intermittent use pattern) and characteristics and motivations of users who want to quit are needed. Recommendations are provided to move waterpipe cessation intervention development forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Cessation
  • Intervention development
  • Review
  • Waterpipe

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    Ward, K. D., Siddiqi, K., Ahluwalia, J. S., Alexander, A. C., & Asfar, T. (2015). Waterpipe tobacco smoking: The critical need for cessation treatment. Drug and alcohol dependence, 153, 14-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.05.029