Smoking Cessation Amid the Coronavirus 2019 Pandemic: Making Every Contact Count

Hasan, S Shahzad, Kow, CS and Ahmadi, Keivan (2020) Smoking Cessation Amid the Coronavirus 2019 Pandemic: Making Every Contact Count. Journal of the COPD Foundation, 7 (4). pp. 300-302. ISSN 2372-952X

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Recently, YouGov and the campaign group, Action on Smoking and Health, published the results of their survey on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the smoking behavior of current adult smokers.1 The study, which interviewed over 1000 adult participants residing in the United Kingdom during April 2020, revealed some positive findings with regards to smoking behavior in association with the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, 36% of smokers had reduced the amount of tobacco or cigarettes smoked while 8% of smokers had tried to quit smoking. Collectively, the proportion of smokers who had reduced or tried to quit smoking was more than the proportion of smokers (20%) who had purchased tobacco or cigarettes in larger quantities—bulk-buying or stockpiling—because of COVID-19 associated lockdowns. Though lesser in proportion, it is also encouraging to observe that 2% of smokers had quit smoking in the last 4 months, solely or partly due to COVID-19.

These positive findings may be due to media coverage in which smokers have been predicted to have a higher risk of COVID-19 acquisition than non-smokers. Though no studies as yet have proven such an association, it has been suggested that smokers could be more vulnerable to acquiring COVID-19, as their fingers (and possibly contaminated tobacco or cigarettes) are often in contact with their lips, which increases the likelihood of the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, (SARS-CoV-2), the causative pathogen of COVID-19, from hand to mouth.

Keywords:smoking cessation, COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A990 Medicine and Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Medical School
ID Code:42885
Deposited On:18 Dec 2020 12:40

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