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BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1046, 2022 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865291


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown period lasted from March to May 2020, resulted in a highly stressful situation yielding different negative health consequences, including the worsening of smoking habit. METHODS: A web-based cross-sectional study on a convenient sample of 1013 Italian ever smokers aged 18 years or more was conducted. Data were derived from surveys compiled by three different groups of people: subjects belonging to Smoking Cessation Services, Healthcare Providers and Nursing Sciences' students. All institutions were from Northern Italy. The primary outcome self-reported worsening (relapse or increase) or improvement (quit or reduce) of smoking habit during lockdown period. Multiple unconditional (for worsening) and multinomial (for improving) logistic regressions were carried out. RESULTS: Among 962 participants, 56.0% were ex-smokers. Overall, 13.2% of ex-smokers before lockdown reported relapsing and 32.7% of current smokers increasing cigarette intake. Among current smokers before lockdown, 10.1% quit smoking and 13.5% decreased cigarette intake. Out of 7 selected stressors related to COVID-19, four were significantly related to relapse (OR for the highest vs. the lowest tertile ranging between 2.24 and 3.62): fear of being infected and getting sick; fear of dying due to the virus; anxiety in listening to news of the epidemic; sense of powerlessness in protecting oneself from contagion. In addition to these stressors, even the other 3 stressors were related with increasing cigarette intensity (OR ranging between 1.90 and 4.18): sense of powerlessness in protecting loved ones from contagion; fear of losing loved ones due to virus; fear of infecting other. CONCLUSION: The lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with both self-reported relapse or increase smoking habit and also quitting or reduction of it.

COVID-19 , Smokers , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Recurrence , Smoking/epidemiology
J Public Health Res ; 10(1): 1759, 2021 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100171


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and control measures may have had an impact on unpleasant emotions experimented during the lockdown (LD). This may have increased the number of hours spent online and could have impacted the quality of the enacted behavior, in terms of loss of control of Internet use. In this online survey, we were interested in measure how much loss of control was perceived regarding online gambling, online shopping, the fruition of online pornographic content and web navigation. Design and methods: The online survey was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic in the post-lockdown and 1232 subjects participated in the survey. In the participating sample, healthcare workers (HW) were 43.1% of the sample, of which 18.7% were directly involved in the Coronavirus emergency, and 52.3% of the sample is not a HW. Only 0.6% of the sample gambled online and 37.5% of those reported losing control of their gambling mode. Most of the sample shopped online during the LD (70.1%), but only 7.2% of those lost control by buying and/or spending more than what they had set themselves. Results: Significant data emerged showing that those who lost control while online shopping also lost control regarding the amount of time spent online (p<0.001); 21.6% of the sample, reported making use of online pornographic material during LD, 4.7% of them stated that the frequency increased and 5.1% reported losing control by having spent more money or more time than what was intended. Finally, 44.7% of the sample have experienced loss of control during the web navigation. Furthermore, during the LD 67.8% of the sample reports having experienced unpleasant emotions. Of these, 8.4% state that they enacted behaviors such as online gambling, online shopping, online pornographic material viewing and web navigation to counter their negative emotions. Interestingly, we found a correlation between loss of control during web navigation and online shopping and the emotional states "upset", "scared" and "restless" (p<0.05). Conclusion: To conclude, there was no significant increase in potentially addictive behaviors, nor an increase in loss of control of these behaviors when enacted online. However, the loss of control in online shopping and web navigation was significantly correlated to the unpleasant emotional states of nervousness, fear and restlessness, whereas those who reported feeling strong and able to handle the situation experienced a lower loss of control in their web navigation. These correlations may suggest that these online behaviors may act as modulators of unpleasant emotional states.