Prevalence of Dokha Use among Secondary School Students in Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  • Published : 2015.02.25


Background: Dokha is a novel form of smoking in United Arab Emirates (UAE) on which there is very little published literature, especially among adolescents, and this form of smoking has been not been addressed adequately in the smoking cessation strategies in the UAE. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of dokha smoking among male secondary school students in Ajman UAE. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted among male secondary school students in Ajman, UAE. A total of 560 participants filled in self-administered questionnaires. Results: The prevalence of ever smokers was 39%; ever dokha smokers was 36% and current dokha smokers was 24%. The prevalence is very high when compared to other forms of smoking in the region and globally. Prevalence increased with increasing age and grade of students, prevalence of ever smokers, ever dokha smokers and current dokha smokers was lower in students in the science stream. 40% of the smokers used dokha, cigarettes and shisha, 30% used dokha and cigarettes, and 21% used dokha alone. 30% of the students smoked dokha on all days of the month. Conclusions: The prevalence of ever smokers, ever dokha smokers and current dokha smokers is very high. There is an urgent need for specific health promotion programs tailored to this age group on prevention of dokha smoking and policies restricting the availability of dokha to this age group.


  1. Abdalla A, Al-Kaabba A, Saeed A, et al (2007).Gender differences in smoking behavior among adolescents in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J, 28, 8-12.
  2. Al-Houqani M, Ali R, Hajat C (2012). Tobacco smoking using midwakh is an emerging health problem - evidence from a large cross-sectional survey in the United Arab Emirates. Plos One, 7, 39189.
  3. Al-Mulla M, Helmy S, Al-Lawati Jawad, et al (2008). Prevalence of tobacco use among students aged 13-15 years in health ministers' council/gulf cooperation council member states, 2001-2004. J School Health, 78, 337-43.
  4. Amin T, Amr M and Zaza B (2011). Psychosocial predictors of smoking among secondary school students in Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia. J Behav Med, 34, 339-50.
  5. CDC (2013). Preventing Chronic Diseases: Investing Wisely in Health. The Critical role of school health programs. Available from URL: (Accessed on 24 April 2013).
  6. CDC (2010). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Tobacco use among middle and high school students united states, 2000-2009; 2010. AvailablefromURL. (Accessed on 27 August 2012).
  7. Crookes A, Wolff K (2014). Prevalence of the Tobacco Product Dokha among High School Students in Dubai. Available from URL:
  8. Hajat C, Harrison O, Al Siksek Z Weqaya (2012). A populationwide cardiovascular screening program in Abudhabi, United Arab Emirates. Am J Public Health, 102, 909-914.
  9. Harbour C (2011). Smoking and normative influence among Egyptian youth: a review of the literature. East Mediterr Health J, 17, 349-55.
  10. Health Authority Abu Dhabi (2011). Health statistics Reliable excellence in healthcare. AvailablefromURL: on 27 November 2014).
  11. Hussain H, Abdul Satar B (2013). Prevalence and determinants of tobacco use among Iraqi adolescents: Iraq GYTS 2012. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 11, 14.
  12. Jayakumary M, Jayadevan S, Ranade AV, et al (2010). Prevalence and pattern of dokha use among medical and allied health students in Ajman, United Arab Emirates. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 11, 1547-9.
  13. John L J, Muttappallymyalil J (2013). Dokha: an emerging public health issue as a form of tobacco smoking in the Middle East. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 7065-7.
  14. Kakodkar PV, Bansal SS (2013). Hookah smoking: characteristics, behavior and perceptions of youth smokers in Pune, India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 4319-23.
  15. Lazaros T, Diamantis A, Anastasios I, et al (2009). Prevalence and risk factors for initiation of smoking in greek high-school students. Int J Environmental Res Public Health, 6, 971-9.
  16. Loney T, Aw TC, Handysides DG, et al (2013). An analysis of the health status of the United Arab Emirates: the 'Big 4' public health issue. Glob Health Action, 6,
  17. Nohair S (2011). Prevalence of smoking and its related behaviors and beliefs among secondary school students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Int J Health Sci, 5, 51-7.
  18. Shaikh RB, Abdul Haque NM, Abdul Hadi Khalil Al Mohsen H, et al (2012). Acute effects of dokha smoking on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems among UAE male university students. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 1819-22.
  19. Special report (2002). Tobacco use among youth: a cross country comparison. the global youth tobacco survey collaborative group. Tobacco Control, 11, 252-70.
  20. The Information Centre for Health and Social Care (2011). Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2011. Available from URL: https://catalogue.ic.nhs. uk/publications/public-health/surveys/smok-drin-drug-younpeop-eng-2011/smok-drin-drug-youn-peop-eng--rep1.pdf.
  21. WHO (2010). Global youth tobacco survey. Country reports; 2010. Available fromURL: (Accessed on 13 April 2013)
  22. WHO (2011). Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI). Available from URL. (Accessed on 12 April 2013)
  23. WHO (2012). Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, Country profile United ArabEmirates. Available from URL: pdf?ua=1 (Accessed on 27 February 2012).
  24. WHO (2012). Global report. Mortality attributable to tobacco 2012. Available fromURL: (Accessed on 25 February 2012)
  25. WHO (2013).Tobacco key facts 2013. Available from URL. (Accessed on 2 May 2014).
  26. Zaman S (2013). Shisha banned in Abu Dhabi outlets near residential areas. Available from URL: Gulf news. (Accessed on 6 July 2013)

Cited by

  1. Price elasticity of demand of non-cigarette tobacco products: a systematic review and meta-analysis vol.27, pp.6, 2018,