Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Health

First Advisor's Name

Wasim Maziak

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Fawaz Mzayek

Third Advisor's Name

Purnima Madhivanan

Fourth Advisor's Name

Kristopher Fennie

Fifth Advisor's Name

Ahmed Albatineh


cigarette, cohort, initiation, Jordan, longitudinal, school children, smoking, time trends, waterpipe

Date of Defense



Smoking prevalence among adolescents in the Middle East remains high while rates of smoking have been declining among adolescents elsewhere. The aims of this research were to (1) describe patterns of cigarette and waterpipe (WP) smoking, (2) identify determinants of WP smoking initiation, and (3) identify determinants of cigarette smoking initiation in a cohort of Jordanian school children.

Among this cohort of school children in Irbid, Jordan, (age ≈ 12.6 at baseline) the first aim (N=1,781) described time trends in smoking behavior, age at initiation, and changes in frequency of smoking from 2008-2011 (grades 7 – 10). The second aim (N=1,243) identified determinants of WP initiation among WP-naïve students; and the third aim (N=1,454) identified determinants of cigarette smoking initiation among cigarette naïve participants. Determinants of initiation were assessed with generalized mixed models. All analyses were stratified by gender.

Baseline prevalence of current smoking (cigarettes or WP) for boys and girls was 22.9% and 8.7% respectively. Prevalence of ever- and current- any smoking, cigarette smoking, WP smoking, and dual cigarette/WP smoking was higher in boys than girls each year (p

These studies reveal intensive smoking patterns at early ages among Jordanian youth in Irbid, characterized by a predominance of WP smoking. WP may be a vehicle for tobacco dependence and subsequent cigarette uptake. The sizeable incidence of WP and cigarette initiation among students of both sexes points to a need for culturally relevant smoking prevention interventions. Gender-specific factors, refusal skills, and smoking cessation of both WP and cigarettes for youth and their parents/teachers would be important components of such initiatives.





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