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Article

Quit Experiences among Primary Care Patients Enrolled in a Smoking Cessation Pilot RCT Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
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Tobacco Research and Treatment Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
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Department of Public Health and Professional Degrees, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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Health Policy Research Center, Mongan Institute, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Judith J. Prochaska, Kathleen Gali, Erin A. Vogel and Kelly C. Young-Wolff
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031011
Received: 14 December 2020 / Revised: 20 January 2021 / Accepted: 21 January 2021 / Published: 24 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: nicotine; COVID-19; risk perceptions; smoking cessation; tobacco use nicotine; COVID-19; risk perceptions; smoking cessation; tobacco use
MDPI and ACS Style

Joyce, A.A.; Styklunas, G.M.; Rigotti, N.A.; Neil, J.M.; Park, E.R.; Kruse, G.R. 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, 1011. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031011

AMA Style

Joyce AA, Styklunas GM, Rigotti NA, Neil JM, Park ER, Kruse GR. Quit Experiences among Primary Care Patients Enrolled in a Smoking Cessation Pilot RCT Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(3):1011. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031011

Chicago/Turabian Style

Joyce, Andrea A., Grace M. Styklunas, Nancy A. Rigotti, Jordan M. Neil, Elyse R. Park, and Gina R. Kruse 2021. "Quit Experiences among Primary Care Patients Enrolled in a Smoking Cessation Pilot RCT Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 3: 1011. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031011

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