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Open AccessArticle

Tobacco Quit Intentions and Behaviors among Cigar Smokers in the United States in Response to COVID-19

1
Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA
3
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
4
Hussman School of Journalism and Media, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
5
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
6
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5368; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155368
Received: 22 June 2020 / Revised: 16 July 2020 / Accepted: 21 July 2020 / Published: 25 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Use and Treatment among Cancer Survivors)
Combustible tobacco users appear to be at greater risk for serious complications from COVID-19. This study examined cigar smokers’ perceived risk of COVID-19, quit intentions, and behaviors during the current pandemic. We conducted an online study between 23 April 2020 to 7 May 2020, as part of an ongoing study examining perceptions of different health effects of cigars. All participants used cigars in the past 30 days (n = 777). Three-quarters of the sample (76.0%) perceived they had a higher risk of complications from COVID-19 compared to non-smokers. The majority of participants (70.8%) intended to quit in the next six months due to COVID-19, and almost half of the sample (46.5%) reported making a quit attempt since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Far more participants reported increasing their tobacco use since COVID-19 started (40.9%) vs. decreasing their tobacco use (17.8%). Black or African American participants, participants who reported using a quitline, and participants with higher COVID-19 risk perceptions had higher intentions to quit using tobacco due to COVID-19, and higher odds of making a quit attempt since COVID-19 started. More research is needed to understand how tobacco users are perceiving COVID-19 risks and changing their tobacco use behaviors. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; tobacco; cigar; risk; communication; quitting; smoking cessation COVID-19; tobacco; cigar; risk; communication; quitting; smoking cessation
MDPI and ACS Style

Kowitt, S.D.; Cornacchione Ross, J.; Jarman, K.L.; Kistler, C.E.; Lazard, A.J.; Ranney, L.M.; Sheeran, P.; Thrasher, J.F.; Goldstein, A.O. Tobacco Quit Intentions and Behaviors among Cigar Smokers in the United States in Response to COVID-19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5368.

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