Through the research held by the School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong noticed that the situation of shisha smoking in HK is getting more serious nowadays. You may think shisha smoking is not an issue for university students in Hong Kong, but it is. According to their recent research data, over 30% of university students in Hong Kong have experienced shisha smoking and the proportion is very high.
Shisha smoking has become a growing health concern in the world today even in Hong Kong. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged that an immediate action and public education are required to prevent and control shisha smoking. The reserch team have identified more than 100 establishments located around in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Causeway Bay that provide shisha on their menus. In addition, the team noticed that shisha smoking is becoming more popular among young adults, mainly university students. The venues for shisha smoking have very poor air quality, for example, the PM 2.5 collected in one shisha bar was 2,001 μg/m3 in average for a 2-hour measurement, which is about 80 times more than the guideline value provided by WHO (i.e. 25 μg/m3). These small particulate matters have health impacts even at very low concentrations. The level of PM 2.5 they found in shisha bars is considered very hazardous to health as it increases the incidence and severity of major disease, such as cancer.
Moreover, through the qualitative interview with young shisha smokers in Hong Kong, the team identified that while young shisha smokers really enjoy engaging in shisha smoking with friends as a social activity, most of them have little to no knowledge of the content or harmful effects of shisha. They also declared that they believe shisha smoking is safer and healthier because there is no education, advertisement, or any other forms of information about shisha smoking. This is in stark contrast to their continuous exposure to education on the harms of traditional cigarette smoking whilst growing up.
In order to tackle this emerging issue, the research team recently developed an animation video which aims to inform young adults, particularly university students, about shisha smoking and its health-related effects. Please click the poster below to visit the website and watch the video they created for this project.
For further details, please click here.