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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 59-63

Tobacco consumption patterns and coping behavior during the COVID-19 Lockdown

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Panchkula, India

Correspondence Address:
S Sujatha
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, New BEL Road, Bengaluru - 560 054, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jhnps.jhnps_61_20

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Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Indians were self-quarantined generating exceptional challenges and stress for all people and more so among regular tobacco users. Tobacco use is known to be detrimental to lung and immune function, thus suppressing the body's ability to combat infections including the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This study was intended at surveying the stress, tobacco consumption patterns, and the coping behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methodology: Seven hundred and twenty-nine current tobacco users aged 18 years and above participated in the questionnaire study on stress due to COVID-19, tobacco consumption patterns during lockdown, years of tobacco use, prior quit attempts, thoughts of quitting currently, and means of purchasing and coping behavior. The data were subjected to statistical analysis. Results: The average Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence score was 6, and males had higher scores than females. 68.4% of tobacco users reported increased use, 5.07% decreased use, and 26.4% no change in tobacco use during the lockdown. Causes for increased tobacco use were stress (62.1%), being alone and restrictions in movement (21.6%), and boredom (16.3%), while the fear of contracting COVID infection and becoming severely ill has motivated few (31.6%) to decrease tobacco use. 50.9% wanted to quit, the thought of quitting tobacco was more among men (54%) as compared to women and was higher among smokers as compared to smokeless tobacco users. Conclusion: Tobacco users appear to be affected by stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with majority of them increasing the consumption.

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