204260 Teenage smoking of water pipes (nargile, sheesha); Recently an unheard of problem but now a growing health issue of concern in Poland

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:20 AM

Andrzej Wojtyla, MD, PhD , Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
Przemyslaw Bilinski, MD, PhD , Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
Piotr Holownia, PhD , Chief Specialist, Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
The recreational habit of using water pipes for the smoking of various substances, particularly tobacco, was unknown in Poland at the time of its accession to the EU in 2004 and the relaxing of border controls. At that time national authorities responsible for Public Health were unaware of this issue. However since then it has also become apparent that meningococcus infections have increased in central-eastern europe through strains which until now have not been a significant factor causing this disease, especially the Type C serotype of Neisseria meningitidis. Furthermore in the process of conducting epidemiological investigations, a study has confirmed that smoking water pipes may cause an infection of meningococcus disease and mortality arising from water pipe smoking in a group of teenagers. Indeed, for the last two years the Public Health Authorities have been conducting a broad and large scale education campaign amongst teenagers throughout Poland wherever the smoking of water pipes is publicly available. The authors present the methods employed in conducting this campaign and the results from control actions undertaken in such places where water pipe smoking is used. Also presented are the results of measures performed to monitor and evaluate this problem.

Learning Objectives:
The relatively new problem of the association between water pipe smoking and meningococcus infection in teenagers is explained in Poland through epidemiological evidence. results from ongoing evaluations and new measures to monitor and remedy this problem are described.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For Moderators/Reviewers/Faculty/Presenters
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.