Document Type : Original Article
Department of Community and Family Medicine (CFM), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, India
Background: COVID-19 presented an unprecedented situation in which behavioural factors including tobacco use were believed to increase the risk of morbidity and mortality. The objective of the present study was to find the tobacco use pattern among the COVID-19 patients and the perceived risk of developing severe COVID-19 following tobacco use.
Methods: This hospital-based, cross-sectional, analytical study was conducted among 300 COVID-19 patients at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, India, during November and December 2020 using a semi-structured, pretested questionnaire. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed using statistical software and the results were presented as proportion and percentage.
Findings: About 27% and 16% of the COVID-19 patients were ever and current tobacco users, respectively. Quit attempts were found to have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. A majority (65%) of current tobacco users had reduced their amount of tobacco use. Nearly 2 in every 3 patients perceived high risk of developing severe COVID-19 following tobacco use. Perceived risk was significantly higher among tobacco non-users, patients who were aware of the ill health effects of tobacco use, and patients who had noticed anti-tobacco messages or had been advised to quit tobacco. Among the current tobacco users, a significantly higher proportion of patients who perceived high risk of developing severe COVID-19 following tobacco use had made quit attempts or had reduced tobacco consumption during the pandemic (76.7% vs. 40%; P = 0.032).
Conclusion: A high proportion of COVID-19 patients believed that tobacco use aggravated the COVID-19 condition. Increased quit attempts and reduction in tobacco consumption during this pandemic is a positive sign for tobacco control