Special Issue "Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Judith J. Prochaska
Website
Guest Editor
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Interests: addiction; nicotine; tobacco; vaping; cannabis; mental health; treatment
Dr. Kathleen Gali
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Interests: tobacco; cannabis; disparities; risk perceptions;
Dr. Erin A. Vogel
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Interests: tobacco; cannabis; multiple health risk behaviors; digital health; social media;
Dr. Kelly C. Young-Wolff
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland CA 94612
Interests: tobacco; cannabis; vaping; policy; vulnerable populations;

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread effects. Restrictions on social and occupational activities have dramatically altered daily routines; retailers have been restricted; and personal experiences with isolation, illness, and economic effects have led to uncertainty, immense stress, and grief. While prior evidence indicates smoking is associated with a greater risk of developing respiratory illness and a more difficult time recovering from respiratory illness effects, initial reports (non-peer-reviewed) analyzing data from China indicate tobacco smoking may be associated with decreased risk of COVID-19 severity. Other studies, peer-reviewed, indicate worse outcomes among individuals with co-occurring disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), for which the prevailing risk factor is chronic tobacco smoking. In the months just prior to COVID-19, EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury) raised national attention and concern about nicotine and cannabis vaping effects on respiratory function, morbidity, and mortality. To inform health policy, public health guidance, and treatment interventions, peer-reviewed research is needed on the effects of smoking and vaping in relation to lung health and COVID-19. Specifically, research is needed to identify smoking- and vaping-related risk factors for COVID-19 development, severity, and progression. This Special Issue in IJERPH has a focus on smoking and vaping of tobacco/nicotine and cannabis products and spans epidemiology to treatment, policy, and the retail environment. Areas of interest include:

  • Prevalence of COVID-19 among those who smoke or vape;
  • COVID-19 related risk perceptions among those who smoke or vape;
  • COVID-19 related changes in access to smoking or vaping products and shifts in the retailer environment (e.g., essential business designation, home delivery, vaping/flavor bans);
  • COVID-19 disease progression and severity in the presence of smoking or vaping;
  • Secondhand smoke exposure in relation to COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions;
  • Treatment seeking, quit attempts, and sustained cessation of smoking and vaping associated with COVID-19 risk perceptions and restrictions.

Dr. Judith J. Prochaska
Dr. Kathleen Gali
Dr. Erin A. Vogel
Dr. Kelly C. Young-Wolff
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • novel coronavirus
  • nicotine
  • tobacco
  • e-cigarettes
  • vaping
  • cannabis
  • addiction
  • policy
  • treatment
  • risk perceptions

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Smokers Are More Likely to Smoke More after the COVID-19 California Lockdown Order
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2582; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052582 - 05 Mar 2021
Abstract
To determine if cigarette smoking, electronic cigarette use, and rate of consumption of these products differed before and after a pandemic lockdown order, two convenience samples of adults in Central California were recruited and surveyed before (March 2020) and after (May 2020) COVID-19 [...] Read more.
To determine if cigarette smoking, electronic cigarette use, and rate of consumption of these products differed before and after a pandemic lockdown order, two convenience samples of adults in Central California were recruited and surveyed before (March 2020) and after (May 2020) COVID-19 lockdown orders were implemented in California (n = 2571). Multivariable logistic and negative binomial regression models tested the association between adults recruited pre- or post-California lockdown and past month cigarette use, past month electronic cigarette use, past month cigarette consumption, and past month e-cigarette consumption among current users, controlling for demographic differences. Adults pre- and post-lockdown had equal odds of using cigarettes during the past month. Cigarette users who responded post-lockdown had higher cigarette consumption rates compared to cigarette users who responded pre-lockdown (IRR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.15, 1.23). Adults who responded post-lockdown had lower odds of using electronic cigarettes during the past month compared to participants surveyed before the order (OR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.55, 0.78). Cigarette users may be using more cigarettes during the state mandated lockdown. Possible causes for this increase in cigarette use may include increased stress, the change in workplace smokefree protections coverage, and increased opportunities for smoking or vaping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
Open AccessArticle
Changes in Smoking Behaviour and Home-Smoking Rules during the Initial COVID-19 Lockdown Period in Israel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1931; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041931 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 600
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastating impacts globally. To mitigate virus spread, Israel imposed severe restrictions during March–April 2020. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted in April 2020 among current and ex-smokers to explore changes in smoking behaviour and home-smoking rules during this [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastating impacts globally. To mitigate virus spread, Israel imposed severe restrictions during March–April 2020. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted in April 2020 among current and ex-smokers to explore changes in smoking behaviour and home-smoking rules during this period. Bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression examined associations between sociodemographic characteristics and perceived risk of infection and quitting smoking during the initial COVID-19 period. Current smoking was reported by 437 (66.2%) of the 660 participants, 46 (7%) quit during the initial restriction period, and 177 (26.8%) were ex-smokers. Nearly half (44.4%) of current smokers intensified their smoking, and 16% attempted to quit. Quitting during the COVID-19 period was significantly associated with higher education (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.97, 95% CI: 1.0–3.8), not living with a smoker (aOR: 2.18, 95% CI: 1.0–4.4), and having an underlying chronic condition that increases risk for COVID-19 complications (aOR: 2.32, 95% CI: 1.1–4.6). Both an increase in smoking behaviour and in attempts to quit smoking during the initial COVID-19 pandemic were evident in this sample of adult Israeli smokers. Governments need to use this opportunity to encourage smokers to attempt quitting and create smoke-free homes, especially during lockdown conditions, while providing mental and social support to all smokers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
Open AccessArticle
Tobacco Use Changes and Perceived Health Risks among Current Tobacco Users during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1795; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041795 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, with over 81 million cases worldwide. To assess changes in tobacco use as a result of the pandemic, we surveyed a convenience sample of current tobacco users between April and June 2020. The sample was taken from [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, with over 81 million cases worldwide. To assess changes in tobacco use as a result of the pandemic, we surveyed a convenience sample of current tobacco users between April and June 2020. The sample was taken from a tobacco user research registry (n = 3396) from the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA. Participants who responded to the survey and were eligible for this study (n = 291) were 25.6% male, 93% white, and had a mean age of 47.3 (SD = 11.6) years. There were no reports of participants testing positive for COVID-19, but 21.7% reported experiencing symptoms associated with the virus. Most participants (67%) believed that their risk of contracting COVID-19 was the same as non-tobacco users, but 57.7% believed that their risk of serious complications, if infected, was greater compared to non-tobacco users. A total of 28% reported increasing their cigarette use during the pandemic. The most common reasons for increased use were increased stress, more time at home, and boredom while quarantined. Nearly 15% reported decreasing their tobacco use. The most common reasons for reduced use were health concerns and more time around non-smokers (including children). A total of 71 (24.5%) users reported making a quit attempt. Characterizing these pandemic-related changes in tobacco use may be important to understanding the full scope of subsequent health outcomes resulting from the pandemic. Tobacco cessation resources should be tailored to allow for safe, appropriate access for those interested in quitting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
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Open AccessArticle
First Report on Smoking and Infection Control Behaviours at Outdoor Hotspots during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Unobtrusive Observational Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1031; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031031 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 485
Abstract
This study was to observe smoking behaviours and infection control behaviours in smokers at outdoor smoking hotspots during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong. We conducted unobtrusive observations at nine hotspots during 1 July 2019–31 January 2020 (pre-outbreak, 39 observations), 1 February–30 April [...] Read more.
This study was to observe smoking behaviours and infection control behaviours in smokers at outdoor smoking hotspots during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong. We conducted unobtrusive observations at nine hotspots during 1 July 2019–31 January 2020 (pre-outbreak, 39 observations), 1 February–30 April 2020 (outbreak, eight observations), and 1 May–11 June 2020 (since-outbreak, 20 observations). Sex, age group, type of tobacco products used, duration of stay, group smoking behaviours, face mask wearing and infection control behaviours of smokers, and mask wearing of non-smoking pedestrians were observed. Compared with pre-outbreak, lower volumes of smokers were observed during outbreak and since-outbreak. Smokers gathered more in a group (24.5% and 25.8% vs. 13.4%, respectively) and stayed longer (91.5% and 83.6% vs. 80.6% stayed ≥1 min) during outbreak and since-outbreak than pre-outbreak. Ninety-six percent smokers possessed a face mask. While smoking, 81.6% of smokers put the mask under the chin and 13.8% carried it in the hand, 32.4% did not wear a mask immediately after smoking, 98.0% did not sanitize hands, and 74.3% did not keep a distance of at least one metre. During the COVID-19 pandemic, smokers gathered closely and stayed longer at the hotspots, and few practised hand hygiene, all of which may increase the risk of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
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Open AccessArticle
Quit Experiences among Primary Care Patients Enrolled in a Smoking Cessation Pilot RCT Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1011; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031011 - 24 Jan 2021
Viewed by 606
Abstract
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on US adults’ smoking and quitting behaviors is unclear. We explored the impact of COVID-19 on smoking behaviors, risk perceptions, and reactions to text messages during a statewide stay-at-home advisory among primary care patients who were trying [...] Read more.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on US adults’ smoking and quitting behaviors is unclear. We explored the impact of COVID-19 on smoking behaviors, risk perceptions, and reactions to text messages during a statewide stay-at-home advisory among primary care patients who were trying to quit. From May–June 2020, we interviewed smokers enrolled in a 12-week, pilot cessation trial providing text messaging and mailed nicotine replacement medication (NCT04020718). Twenty-two individuals (82% white, mean age 55 years), representing 88% of trial participants during the stay-at-home advisory, completed exit interviews; four (18%) of them reported abstinence. Interviews were thematically analyzed by two coders. COVID-19-induced environmental changes had mixed effects, facilitating quitting for some and impeding quitting for others. While stress increased for many, those who quit found ways to cope with stress. Generally, participants felt at risk for COVID-19 complications but not at increased risk of becoming infected. Reactions to COVID-19 and quitting behaviors differed across age groups, older participants reported difficulties coping with isolation (e.g., feeling disappointed when a text message came from the study and not a live person). Findings suggest that cessation interventions addressing stress and boredom are needed during COVID-19, while smokers experiencing isolation may benefit from live-person supports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
Open AccessArticle
The Perceived Impact of COVID-19 among Treatment-Seeking Smokers: A Mixed Methods Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 505; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020505 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral health, including tobacco use, are not fully known. The current study sought to measure the perceived impact of COVID-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York on smokers enrolled in [...] Read more.
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral health, including tobacco use, are not fully known. The current study sought to measure the perceived impact of COVID-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York on smokers enrolled in four smoking cessation trials between March 2020 and July 2020. The survey collected quantitative data regarding life changes due to COVID-19, health/exposure status, and the impact on their cessation attempt (e.g., motivation to quit, change in triggers). The questionnaire collected qualitative data to better understand how such changes could explain changes in smoking behavior. Of the 42 participants surveyed, approximately half indicated that COVID-19 changed their motivation and ability to quit or remain quit. Among those who reported that it was easier to quit following the stay-at-home orders (n = 24), most attributed this to concerns regarding the severity of COVID-19 among smokers. Among those who reported more difficulty quitting (n = 15), most attributed this to their increased stress due to the pandemic and the inability to access activities, places, or people that could help them manage triggers. Given public health warnings of continued surges in COVID-19, these data provide insight into who may benefit from further smoking cessation support should existing restrictions or new stay-at-home orders be enacted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
Open AccessArticle
Impact of COVID-19 on the Hong Kong Youth Quitline Service and Quitting Behaviors of Its Users
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17228397 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 582
Abstract
Tobacco use is a possible risk factor for contracting and spreading COVID-19. We aimed to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Youth Quitline service and quitting behaviors of its users in Hong Kong. We conducted a telephone survey involving 201 [...] Read more.
Tobacco use is a possible risk factor for contracting and spreading COVID-19. We aimed to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Youth Quitline service and quitting behaviors of its users in Hong Kong. We conducted a telephone survey involving 201 participants of the Youth Quitline service, and retrospectively analyzed the operation and use of Quitline since the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong. The number of incoming calls to the Youth Quitline and the participants′ quit rate has increased since the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong. Many participants (68%) did not realize that tobacco use potentially increased their risk for developing and spreading COVID-19; however, 43% agreed that the pandemic motivated their intention to quit, and 83% changed their smoking habits during the pandemic. These changes were mainly due to wearing masks (30%), closure of bars/pubs (25%), suspension of classes (14%), and being unable to socialize with friends (24%). Overall, 58% reduced their tobacco use; of these participants, 66% reported a ≥50% reduction in daily cigarette consumption. The participants reduced their smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic despite lacking knowledge about the potentially increased risk for contracting COVID-19 from continued smoking. The pandemic could create new opportunities to motivate young smokers to quit smoking, especially those seeking support for smoking cessation, and may further contribute to reducing the risks posed by COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of COVID-19 on Electronic Cigarette Purchasing, Use and Related Behaviors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6762; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17186762 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 has caused health impacts and disruptions globally. Electronic cigarette (ECIG) users may face additional impacts. This study examined impacts of COVID-19 on ECIG users. Methods: Concept mapping, a mixed-methods approach, was used to identify COVID-19 impacts on adult ECIG [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 has caused health impacts and disruptions globally. Electronic cigarette (ECIG) users may face additional impacts. This study examined impacts of COVID-19 on ECIG users. Methods: Concept mapping, a mixed-methods approach, was used to identify COVID-19 impacts on adult ECIG users. ECIG users (n = 93) provided statements completing a prompt: “A specific way Coronavirus/COVID-19 has affected my vaping/e-cigarette use, my vaping/e-cigarette related purchasing, or other vaping/e-cigarette related behaviors or issues is…”. Participants generated 85 unique statements, sorted statements into groups of similar content and rated each statement on how true they were. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis identified thematic clusters. Mean cluster ratings were compared between sample subgroups. Results: Ten clusters were identified: Stocking up and Bulk Purchasing, Challenges in Obtaining ECIG Supplies, Alternative Purchasing Procedures, Increased ECIG use, Disruption of Routine and ECIG Use, Efforts to Decrease ECIG Use, Improving ECIG Skills, COVID-19 Health Concerns, Perceptions of ECIG Use and COVID-19, and COVID-19 Protection. More dependent ECIG users and dual users of ECIGs and cigarettes rated clusters higher than less dependent ECIG users and non-dual users. Conclusions: ECIG users may experience or perceive they face additional COVID-19 impacts, such as increased exposure, financial burdens, stress, and health risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
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