An explosion of Internet and social network sites (SNSs) among Vietnamese youths and adolescents increases the likelihood of being exposed or influenced by risky perceptions and beliefs from online peers, leading to the development of risk behaviors, especially new habits such as shisha smoking. However, evidence about the online peer influence on the occurrence of shisha smoking is limited. The objective of this study is to determine the associations between online peer influence and the shisha use among young Internet active users in Vietnam. An online cross-sectional study was conducted with 1041 young people, who were recruited by respondent-driven sampling method. The study found that 4.1% have had smoked shisha in the last 12 months. Among participants, 52.9% and 49.5% reported frequently visited places and engaged in activities recommended by online friends, respectively. People who were male (OR = 4.04; 95%CI = 1.94–8.41), of older age (OR = 1.27; 95%CI = 1.06–1.54) and having higher levels of “visiting places recommended by online friends” (OR = 3.05; 95%CI = 1.84–5.06) were more likely to smoke shisha. This study highlighted the influence of online peers on the occurrence of shisha smoking among youths and adolescents. Future interventions should educate young people to understand the harmful effects of shisha smoking as well as risky online presentations and online interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science