There is a lack of research concerning the widespread phenomenon of young women smoking shisha, which is becoming a widespread phenomenon within Egyptian society. This research was conducted in order to assess the practices of young women concerning their smoking of the shisha in order to understand such a relatively new phenomenon. In order to understand this phenomenon, empirical questions were developed concerning the characteristics of young women smoking shisha, when and why they started, cost and frequency of smoking, their knowledge about the health hazards of smoking, the future of their smoking, their perception of young women smokers, and their perception concerning efforts made in order to combat smoking. Also hypothesis were stated concerning the role of family, friends and other social institutions in fighting smoking. A self administered, anonymous questionnaire, consisting of 60 questions, was completed by 70 middle class young women between the ages of 18 to 35, who smoke, or used to smoke shisha, living in greater Cairo. Descriptive statistics, and difference analysis by X2 and T test, and correlations show that the greater majority started smoking shisha before the age of 21. The young women are not heavy smokers, although a percentage of them do reach a stage of developing a well-established habit of smoking shisha. Current smokers tend to perceive women smokers in a more positive way compared with ex-smokers; in other words, ex-smokers tend to perceive women smoking as less attractive and possessing negative traits, in contrast to current smokers, who have a more positive view of these same shisha smokers. Friends who smoke shisha surround most of the sample. According to the data collected the stand of those young women smoking shisha in this study is illusory for they believe that they have the power to control their smoking behavior whenever they want. The role of the family in fighting smoking, school and media is either weak or contradictory. More studies are needed in order to establish a good understanding of such a phenomenon that is targeting a very precious cluster of the society, i.e., the youth.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Nicholas Hopkins

Committee Member 1

Nicholas Hopkins

Committee Member 2

Helen Rizzo

Committee Member 3

Maha Abdelrahman

Document Type



95 leaves

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1


Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Young women


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Call Number

Thesis 2004/31