News media coverage of shisha in Nigeria from 2014 to 2018
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Tobacco Control Unit, Non-Communicable Diseases Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria
Africa Centre for Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Policy Research, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa
Faculty of Public Health, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Emmanuel A. Abraham   

Tobacco Control Unit, Non-Communicable Diseases Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase III, Ahmadu Bello Way, Central Business District, Abuja, Nigeria
Publish date: 2019-04-19
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2019;17(April):33
Shisha which was formally popular mostly in the Eastern Mediterranean region is now gaining popularity globally and has become a trending tobacco product in Nigeria. The increasing popularity of shisha is possibly driven by the attractive flavours and the misperception that it is safer than traditional cigarettes. Since the media plays a significant influence on public awareness, perception and understanding of various issues, this study sought to explore the coverage of shisha use by five national newspapers in Nigeria.

Five newspapers were selected based on their website traffic (online readership). The software NVIVO 12 was used to organise the content of the articles into themes.

Between 2014 and 2018, we found 30 relevant publications about shisha. Some newspaper articles reported that shisha smoking was gaining popularity among youths, especially in tertiary institutions across the country. Similarly, some misconceptions about the safety of smoking shisha among shisha users was reported. Addiction to shisha was also reported as being so common that many shisha users were no longer satisfied with just visiting nightclubs and shisha cafes but now own the shisha paraphernalia. There were also reports that the tobacco in shisha was in some instances being replaced or mixed with other hard drugs like marijuana. Subtle advertisement of shisha lounges, which is a violation of the Nigeria National Tobacco Control Act, was also observed.

There is a need for increased sensitization of the public through the media on the dangers of shisha smoking and other tobacco product use. There is also a need for a national survey to determine the prevalence of shisha use in Nigeria.

The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
This study was funded by a research fellowship award to EAA by The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) through the BETA Project conducted by Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria. The South African Medical Research Council funded the time of C.O. Egbe to work on this study.
Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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