J Med Assoc Thai 2013; 96 (12):42

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Perception and Knowledge on Health Risks by Waterpipe Tobacco-Smoking Tourists in a Night Spot of Bangkok, Thailand
Prutipinyo C Mail, Bhatt N , Sirichotiratana N

Objective: To identify the perception level, and knowledge level of health risks due to waterpipe tobacco smoking, and knowledge about prohibition of waterpipe tobacco smoking, of foreign tourists in Thailand.
Material and Method: This is a descriptive cross sectional study, carried out among foreign tourists in nightspots on Khao San Road area of Bangkok. Structured interview questionnaire was the data collection instrument for 176 conveniencesampling.
Results: More than half (52.3%) of the foreign tourists had a poor level of perception about waterpipe smoking. Majority of foreign tourists (75.5%) had low level of knowledge on the health risks. More than 50% didn’t know about the illegal status of waterpipe smoking in Thailand. Chi-square analysis showed that the region where tourists reside was statistically associated with the perception level regarding waterpipe smoking. Age of waterpipe smoking initiation was associated with the region and gender. Age of tourists was associated with the knowledge on prohibition of waterpipe smoking.
Conclusion: Raising awareness among foreign tourists through media advocacy about the rules and regulations regarding waterpipe smoking is necessary to support tobacco control policy. Strict enforcement of the existing law on prohibiting waterpipe smoking should be implemented, Authorities should inform owners/managers of waterpipe, tobacco-smoking prohibition, and require them to put up prohibition signs in their establishments, in both Thai and English languages.

Keywords: Waterpipe smoking, Tourist perception, Violation of tobacco products control law

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