Prevalence of Nicotine Dependence Among Youth Smokers (Cigarette and Shisha) in Malaysia

Muhammad Ikbal Baharudin, Waqar Al Kubaisy, Norsuhada Norden, Rinakartini Lairy, Nurain Anuar Yazid, Nur Liyana Mohammad Azlan, Nik Nairan Abdullah, Zakaria Bannur


The usual explanation for why smoking produces dependence, focuses on the effects of nicotine on dopamine and other neurobiological explanations. It is evident that tobacco smoke contains nicotine that results in addictive stimulant. Smoking prevalence around the world has been increasing tremendously especially among youth. Identifying youth who may develop nicotine habit is an important step in preventing and controlling tobacco use. Unfortunately, to date no studies related to tobacco (shisha or cigarette) smoking dependence have been carried out in Malaysian particularly among youth. Objectives: to identify the predominant type of smoking (cigarette, shisha or both), to detect the nicotine dependency among youth as well as comparing the nicotine dependence based on the type of smoking, and also to investigate the socio-demographic characteristic of the smokers. April to July 2014 in Selangor (one of the states in Malaysia). Random sample of 500 tobacco smoker individuals at age 18-24 years old was collected. Each participant was interviewed face to face, using well-constructed questionnaire. The questionnaire contains socio-demographic characteristic and information about type of smoking (cigarette, shisha or both). In addition the 16 item related to signs and symptoms of tobacco dependence were included in this questionnaire. Using SPSS version 20, data analysis was conducted using chi square. Significantly consider when p < 0.05. Result: Prevalence of cigarette smoking was the highest (58.4%) followed by both cigarette and shisha (31.8%), while only (9.8%) of our youth smoking shisha. Regarding the nicotine dependency, interestingly we found that those who are used to smoke both (cigarette and shisha) showing significantly higher rate of nicotine dependence in 10 out of the 16 item related to sign and symptom of dependency. Conclusion and Recommendation: Smoking cigarette is the highest rate. Smoking nicotine leads to dependency. Combining both shisha and cigarette for smoking leads to higher dependency status of individual to nicotine. In respect to the nicotine dependency signs and symptoms, our study revealed that the participants who used to smoke both cigarette and shisha showed significantly the highest rates of nicotine dependency. Therefore anti-smoking campaign should be strength particularly among adolescent and youth.


Tobacco, smoking, nicotine dependency, cigarette, shisha, youth.

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