Many alternative tobacco products (ATPs), such as hookahs, have grown in popularity and use beyond their locale of origin and are therefore becoming a significant global public health concern. This article provides an overview of an under-reported and understudied ATP, dokha, which is smoked in a midwakh pipe. It describes the state of tobacco control in the Arabian Gulf region where midwakh smoking appears to be most common, the history of midwakh and dokha use, and what is known about midwakh smoking from the published literature. On the basis of the stark lack of data on midwakh use, we suggest priority areas to focus future research. Preliminary data and observations from health providers and the public health sector suggest that midwakh smoking may pose challenges to the tobacco control efforts in the Arabian Gulf region. If it is emerging as a new ATP outside this region, there could be a significant impact on tobacco control strategies globally.

Original publication




Journal article


Tob Control

Publication Date





236 - 241


Global health, Non-cigarette tobacco products, Prevention, Priority/special populations