1st Conference

​First International Conference on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking:
Building Evidence for Intervention and Policy
Abu Dhabi-United Arab Emirates
October 21-23, 2013

Over the past decade, tobacco smoking using a waterpipe (hookah, narghile, shisha) has become a world-wide epidemic, with current use rates approaching those of cigarettes in many populations. It is particularly prevalent in the Arab world, and marketing efforts have played to the cultural and social aspects of waterpipe use. A nascent but growing evidence base unanimously points to the high potential for deleterious health effects of waterpipe use, including nicotine addiction. At the same time, waterpipe tobacco smoking remains peripheral to tobacco control efforts. The time is now ripe to raise the dialogue on this issue by having an international conference dedicated purely to the waterpipe.

This conference will bring together waterpipe researchers from the Arab world and across the globe. The meeting aims to make waterpipe tobacco smoking a central concern by bringing together renowned researchers and tobacco control veterans to enhance the visibility of the significant impact of waterpipe smoking on global health, economis, and personal lives; to examine the state of knowledge concerning waterpipe smoking; and to issue an authoritative report containing a set of findings and recommendations on the subject. It will also help to build research capacity in this critical area in the region. In addition to engaging international experts in waterpipe tobacco research, the meeting will also engage key experts in various aspects of research and regulation pertaining to cigarettes with the aim to learn as much as possible from the history of the cigarette epidemic.

Conference Sponsers

  1. International Development Research Centre-Canada                                             
  2. The Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies                                                                             
  3. The New York University Abu Dhabi Public Health Research Center
  4. NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

Conference Organizers

  1. The International Consortium for Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Research
  2. The Jordan University of Science and Technology
  3. The King Hussein Cancer Center
  4. The UAE Tobacco Control Consortium

For further information please send an email (include your professional title and affiliation) to Dr. Rima Nakkash:​

Objectives of the conference

  1. To review and sythesize all what is known about waterpipe tobacco smoking, including biological and physiological effects, social context and determinants of use, economic aspects, and public policy factors.
  2. To identify what actions and new knowledge are most vital to bringing the waterpipe epidemic under control today, in light of the historical successes and failures of tobacco control.
  3. To build capacity in research on waterpipe use and its effects.
  4. To plan collaboratively for further research or activities that will serve as a platform for action at the WCTOH in 2015.​

Agenda of the Conference October 21-23, 2013​

Media Coverage of the Conference

​Name of Country


Evidence Based Smoking Cessation Strategies and Approache

On Saturday May 11, 2013 a meeting was held at the American University of Beirut as part of the Middle East Medical Assembly 2013 at Issam Fares Hall. The meeting focused on discussing progress and setbacks in tobacco control policy in Lebanon.

The objectives of the meeting were

  1. Review progress on implementation of the tobacco control policy at the national level.
  2. Identify further steps necessary to move forward towards a comprehensive tobacco control policy framework.
  3. Discuss how to incorporate cessation services whithin health organizations.
  4. Review the biology of nicotine dependance and the use of this knowledge for effective cessation programs.
  5. Train health professional on the range of evidence based smoking cessation strategies and how to approach the topic with smokers.

  • The second part of the meeting was a closed workshop about smoking cessation that was attended by many doctors, nurses, and health practitioners from different health care organizations.
  • The speakers and the material presented by each speaker are listed below
​Presented Material
​Dr. Jonathan Foulds
Presentation 1
Presentation 2
Presentation 3
Presentation 4​
Dr. Jad Chaaban and Dr. Nisreen Salti
​Dr. Nadim Kanj
Presentation 1
Presentation 2
Presentation 3​​
​Dr. Farid Talih
​Dr. Rima Nakkash
​Extra material
Clinical Guidelines
Treating Tobacco Dependance
Electronic Cigarettes
NCI Quitting Booklet
Arabic-Smoking Cessation Final​
​ ​​

2nd Conference

The 2nd International Conference on Waterpipe Smoking Research took place in Doha-Qatar from the 25th to the 27th of October, 2014. The Conference had two parts:​

  • A pre-conference workshop: How to write a Summary or Abstract for a Scientific Study Proposal
  • A two-days conference
From AUB, presentations were presented by:

  • Dr. Ghazi Zaatari: How the Region can Have a Stronger Voice at COP: Ideas and Strategies
  • Dima Btedinni: The Protective Effect of Youth Developmental Assets on Cigarette and Waterpipe Tobacco Use: Evidence from Lebanon
A declaration was released as a result of the conference (Read declaration)

Pictures from conference

World Conference

​​​​16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health
Tobacco and Non-communicable Diseases
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
March 17-21, 2015

The 16th World Conference on  Tobacco or Health, an international conferecneon tobacco control, was held this year in Abu Dhabi, UAE from 17-21 March, 2015. This year's aim was to establish , engage and support local, regiona l and international partnerships through the conference program activites and networking sessions. Thousands of researchers, academics, health professionals, non-governmental organization and public officials attended the conference.

Several Members from the American University of Beirut (AUB) represented the AUB-Tobacco Control Research Group at the conference either through presentations or posters.
​ Session Title​​
​ Participants
Workshop: Youthful Conversations from the Tobacco Free Generation 2000 Proposal
Dr. Rima Nakkash, Chair of the session
Panel Discussion: Are We Doing Enough to Protect Youth from Tobacco?The evidence and urgent need to translate evidence into action
Dr. Rima Nakkash, Chair


Nathalie Malek: Patterns and Trends in Use of Water Pipe and Smokeless Tobacco: Recommendations for action
Workshop: Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking

Dr. Ghazi Zaatari: Waterpipe tobacco products: key facts
Tri-plenary for the WHO day: Toxicity and Health Effects of Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: Current State-of-the-Science and Funding Opportunities
Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, Chair

Dr. Alan Shihadeh: Real-time waterpipe tobacco smoke toxicant sampling in the natural environment
Symposium: Alternative Tobacco products: Evidence base for interventions to prevent or control waterpipe tobacco use
Dr. Rima Nakkash, Chair
Dima Bteddine, Coordinator


Dr. Rima Afifi: Waterpipe tobacco smoking interventions: Why current evidence for cigarettes might fail to curb waterpipe tobacco use

Dr. Wasim Maziak: Generating the evidence for cessation and prevention of waterpipe smoking

Dima Bteddini: School-based interventions to prevention or delay waterpipe tobacco smoking

Dr. Rima Nakkash: Warning on waterpipe tobacco products? What do we know and what more needs to be done?

Dr. Mohammed Jawad: Messaging for waterpipe tobacco control: What do we know and what more needs to be done?
Symposium regional research capacity to guide policy for waterpipe smoking
Dr. Rima Afifi, Chair
Dr. Fouad Fouad, Chair
Symposium: Global challenges regulation of tobacco products
Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, Chair & Coordinator

Dr. Alan Shihadeh: Is FCTC tenable for non-standard tobacco products? The case of the waterpipe

Dr. Ghazi Zaatari: FCTC implementation of articles 9 & 10: Status, challenges and gaps​
Plenary Session: New tricks or just a new mask? What can be learned from the tobacco industry interference with public health

Dr. Rima Nakkash: Water pipe and the tobacco industry: examples of interference
Sponsored Core Symposium: Public Health-led Global Standardised Testing of Tobacco Products
Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, Chair
​Symposium: Tobacco Farming and Tobacco Control: Separating Myth from Reality

Dr. Jad Chabaan: What tobacco control is not doing to the global demand for tobacco leaf
​Symposium: Reproductive Health and Tobacco: Considerations for Pregnant Women and Women of Childbearing Age
Dr. Monique Chaaya, Chair

Dr. Monique Chaaya: Waterpipe Use During Pregnancy
Poster Discussion Session

Dima Bteddini, Rima Afifi, Rima Nakkash: Gender differences in the protective effect of developmental assets in cigarette and waterpipe tobacco use among youth in Lebanon.

Mohammed Jawad, Rema Afifi, Ziyad Mahfoud, Dima Bteddini, Pascale Haddad, Rima Nakkash:Characteristics of never waterpipe smokers that put them at increased risk of smoking waterpipe: a cross-sectional study of 6th and 7th graders in Lebanon
​ ​

3rd Conference

​​Third International Conference on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Research​: Moving towards Action ​​​​​

The conference was held in Beirut, Lebanon from the 9th till the 11th of November, 2017. 

A one day pre-conference workshop was held to introduce the particpants, specifically tobacco control researchers, to the concepts from the field of implementation research and highlight the important role of research in supporting effective tobacco control policies and interventions. The objectives of the wroskhop were to :

  • Provide an overview of tools, methodologies, and data resources for waterpipe tobacco research and implementation science
  • Demonstrate cases of successful international collaborations using such tools and resources
  • Present existing training, mentorship, and collaboration resources, and to provide an opportunity to interact with experts

The two days conference built on the momentum established in the first and second conferences to share recent scholarship on waterpipe tobacco smoking with intent to inform practice, policy and regulation and enhance public health and population wellbeing.

It's objective were: 

  • Share recent evidence on interventions to prevent/control waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS)
  • Share implications of the evidence for practice, policy, and regulation to enhance public health and population wellbeing.
  • ​Build capacity in knowledge translation for WTS and enhance linkages and collaborative partnerships globally.

Also the conference witnesssed the launch of the WHO FCTC Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Knowledge Hub on the ​10th of November, 2017. 

For more info on the conference and access for event documents including the presentations and pictures please click on the below: Event summary and documents​