Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Smoking and Vaping During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study Among Healthcare Workers in a Low and Middle-Income Country

Version 1 : Received: 8 May 2021 / Approved: 10 May 2021 / Online: 10 May 2021 (14:29:49 CEST)

How to cite: Amin, M.; Syed, J.; Salman, H.M.; Sarfraz, A.; Bokhari, S.H.A.A.; Sarfraz, Z.; Bano, S.; Cherrez-Ojeda, I. Smoking and Vaping During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study Among Healthcare Workers in a Low and Middle-Income Country. Preprints 2021, 2021050200 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0200.v1). Amin, M.; Syed, J.; Salman, H.M.; Sarfraz, A.; Bokhari, S.H.A.A.; Sarfraz, Z.; Bano, S.; Cherrez-Ojeda, I. Smoking and Vaping During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study Among Healthcare Workers in a Low and Middle-Income Country. Preprints 2021, 2021050200 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0200.v1).

Abstract

Objective: To investigate social, economic, and environmental contributors to quit or continue smoking and vaping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A qualitative study design was adopted to identify smokers’ beliefs in a LMIC, using a small community sample. Results: 276 participants were primarily surveyed. Motivation to continue smoking included temporary pleasurable effects, working remotely, stress or anxiety, whereas a motivator to quit smoking was the overlap with COVID-19 symptomatology. There was a rise in social awareness regarding the potential harm of smoking and vaping during the pandemic yet those participants who were younger felt they were immune from its morbid complications. Conclusions: With paradoxical associations of COVID-19 with cigarette and vape usage, it is important to pay attention to biases in data in favor of educating its users of the increased risk of severe disease.

Keywords

Tobacco; smoking; vaping; COVID-19; motivation; social; environmental

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