On behalf of the International Conference on Waterpipe Smoking (ICWS) 2014 organizing committee, I am honored and delighted to welcome you to the 2nd International Conference on Waterpipe Smoking Research happening at the Doha Marriott Hotel, Doha, Qatar. The fight against cigarette smoking in the Eastern Mediterranean region is compounded by the emergence of waterpipe smoking, which adds a burden on an already huge and uncontrolled epidemic. Research and capacity building addressing this collision of two epidemics are urgently needed to provide evidence that can guide interventions and policies. The conference theme, “A Collision of Two Epidemics: Waterpipe and Cigarette” is rich and varied with two keynote speakers, panel discussions, oral presentations and more than 30 poster presentations. A pre-conference workshop entitled: “How to develop a summary or abstract for a scientific study proposal” enhances skills for proposal writing. The conference also provides numerous opportunities for informal networking.
As a conference chair of ICWS 2014, I know that the success of the conference depends ultimately on the many people who have worked with us in planning and organizing both the program and supporting arrangements. In particular, we thank the scientific committee for their wise advice on planning the program and their thorough and timely reviewing of the papers; and our sponsors for their support of attendees’ participation. Recognition should go to the local organizing committee members who have all worked extremely hard to smooth out the important details of the conference programs and social activities.
Aside from the excellent scientific program, we have also prepared an exciting social program that will provide foreign delegates an opportunity to explore, indulge and relax during their stay in Doha. The Gala Dinner will give participants a chance to network among colleagues while enjoying the cuisine, culture, and warm hospitality that the city of Doha has to offer.
We look forward to opening our doors to everyone to Doha for ICWS 2014!
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla
Chairman of Conference
Head, Smoking Cessation Clinic,
Department of Medicine, HMC
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death throughout much of the world. Waterpipe tobacco use - formerly a traditional habit among men in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) - has spread across the globe. Many waterpipe smokers view their habit as less harmful and addictive, and many use it as a substitute for cigarettes when they quit. Waterpipe smoking is more acceptable than cigarettes for women and youth in the EM and across the globe, which is putting them at particular risk of tobacco addiction and harm. Young people smoking the waterpipe moreover are more likely to initiate cigarette smoking later on. The fight against cigarette smoking in the EM therefore, is compounded by the emergence of waterpipe smoking, which is putting an additional strain on an already huge and uncontrolled epidemic. Research and capacity building addressing this collision of two epidemics are urgently needed to provide evidence that can guide interventions and policies.