Samer Rastam

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BACKGROUND Narghile (waterpipe) smoking is increasing across the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR), though little is known about the social attitudes and perceptions related to this method of tobacco use, and how those attitudes and perceptions are influenced by gender. METHODS Data from two cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2003 in Aleppo, Syria,(More)
PURPOSE To assess the beliefs and attitudes related to narghile (waterpipe) smoking that are likely to contribute to its increased popularity among young people in Syria. METHODS In 2003, a cross-sectional survey was administered to university students in Aleppo, using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Overall, 587 students participated in the(More)
SETTING Narghile (waterpipe) smoking is increasing in all Arab societies, but little is known about its pattern of use. METHODS In 2003, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among students at Aleppo University using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. A representative sample of 587 students participated (278 males, 309 females; mean age 21.8 +/-(More)
BACKGROUND The Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies (SCTS) was established in response to the smoking epidemic in Syria and lack of local knowledge and expertise to confront it. OBJECTIVES To (1) study tobacco use and local smoking practices using both qualitative and quantitative research methods; (2) develop and test an effective smoking cessation(More)
BACKGROUND: Obesity and its related adverse health effects have become major public health problems in developing countries. It has been increasing more rapidly in low-income and transitional than in industrialized countries. This study aims to provide the first population-based estimates of the prevalence of obesity in Aleppo, Syria, and to examine its(More)
OBJECTIVES Despite large communities living in informal zones around major cities in Syria, there is currently no information on the health and environmental situations in these areas. From May to August 2004, the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies (SCTS) conducted the first household survey aiming to provide a baseline map of main health problems and(More)
BACKGROUND Waterpipe smoking is becoming a global public health problem, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR). METHODS We try in this study, which is a cross sectional survey among a representative sample of waterpipe smokers in cafes/restaurants in Aleppo-Syria, to assess the time period for the beginning of this new smoking hype. We(More)
INTRODUCTION Waterpipe tobacco smoking is increasing in popularity though the toxicant exposure and effects associated with this tobacco use method are not well understood. METHODS Sixty-one waterpipe tobacco smokers (56 males; mean age +/- SD, 30.9 +/- 9.5 years; mean number of weekly waterpipe smoking episodes, 7.8 +/- 5.7; mean duration of waterpipe(More)
BACKGROUND No study to date in Syria has documented the smoking and quitting characteristics in a representative sample of university students, and this study aims to fill this void. DESIGN In 2003, a cross-sectional survey was carried out among students at Aleppo University using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Overall, 587 students(More)
Waterpipe smoking has increased dramatically worldwide in recent years, with an estimated 100 million daily users. Research on this traditional Middle Eastern tobacco use method is in its infancy, and little is known about users' cessation-related attitudes and experiences. A random sample of 268 narghile (waterpipe) smokers (40% female; mean age = 30(More)