Explaining the determinants of hookah consumption among women in southern Iran: a qualitative study

Sakineh Dadipoor, Gerjo Kok, Teamur Aghamolaei, Mohtasham Ghaffari, Ali Heyrani*, Amin Ghanbarnezhad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The prevalence of hookah consumption has been on the increase in Iran over the past two decades. This rate is higher among women than men in the south of Iran than other geographical areas. The purpose of this study was to explain the determinants of hookah consumption among indigenous women of Bandar Abbas city, southern Iran.
Methods: This is the first qualitative study with the conventional content analysis approach that has examined the factors affecting the consumption of hookah at all ecological levels in 2018–2019. Participants, with a maximum variation in terms of age, education, occupation, hookah consumption and geographical areas of the city, were selected purposefully to take part in a semi-structured interview. The data were recorded, typed and analyzed according to the framework of the ecological model of health promotion at five levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, social and political). The interview continued until data saturation. MAXQDA software version 10 was used for data management.
Results: Interviews were conducted with 56 participants (21 female hookah smokers, 15 female ex- smokers, and 20 experienced experts). A total of eight main categories were extracted from the data including; positive attitude towards hookah consumption, psychosocial needs, sensory charms of hookah, individual factors, family factors, cultural-environmental backgrounds, social-political backgrounds, and economic challenges.
Conclusions: The results indicated the extensive influence of internal and external factors on the consumption of hookah. In order to successfully reduce the consumption of hookah, it is essential to consider intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, social and political factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1655
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019


  • Hookah
  • Smoking
  • Water pipe
  • Qualitative research
  • Women


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