Background: Hookah and cigarette smoking have adverse effects on individuals’ health and therefore place a great burden on
public health. The aim of this study was to measure inequalities in socioeconomic position to determine contributing factors on
cigarette and hookah smoking in Iran.
Methods: In this study, secondary analysis of the Iran’s sixth national Surveillance of Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases
(SuRFNCD-2011) was conducted for 10,572 individuals aged 15 to 70 years old. Subjects were categorized into three groups
according to their socioeconomic status (low, middle and high) in order to assess their inequalities using principal component
analysis. At the end, the gap between the low and high socioeconomic groups was decomposed using Blinder-Oaxaca
Results: The prevalence of cigarette and hookah smoking in high, middle, and low socioeconomic groups was 11.8%, 13.2%,
and 13.1% (P=0.158), and 2.6%, 3.3% and 4.3%, (P<0.001), respectively. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique showed a
lower prevalence of hookah smoking in high socioeconomic group compared to low socioeconomic group (P<0.001). The gap
between the two mentioned groups was measured to be 1.7%. However, this gap for cigarette smoking (1.5%) was not significant
Conclusion: The finding indicates the importance of socioeconomic status in hookah smoking. After decomposition of the gap
between the 2 socioeconomic groups, age, gender and education level were reported to be the major contributors to the differences
observed between the 2 groups.