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BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 846, 2023 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313442

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Clear evidence of an increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection among smokers has not been established. We aimed to investigate associations between cigarette smoking or use of snus (snuff) and other nicotine-containing products and a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, taking test behavior into account. METHODS: Current tobacco use and testing behavior during the pandemic were recorded by adult participants from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study and The Norwegian Influenza Pregnancy Cohort. SARS-CoV-2 infection status was obtained from The Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS) in May 2021 (n = 78,860) and antibody measurements (n = 5581). We used logistic regression models stratified by gender and adjusted for age, education, region, number of household members, and work situation. RESULTS: Snus use was more common among men (26%) than women (9%) and more prevalent than cigarette smoking. We found no clear associations between cigarette smoking or snus and a COVID-19 diagnosis among men. Associations among women were conflicting, indicating that cigarette smoke was negatively associated with a diagnosis (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.35, 0.75), while no association was found for snus use (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.86, 1.34). Compared with non-users of tobacco, both cigarette smokers and snus users had increased odds of being tested for SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Cigarette smoking, but not snus use, was negatively associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in women. The lack of an association between snus use and SARS-CoV-2 infection in this population with prevalent snus use does not support the hypothesis of a protective effect of nicotine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tobacco Products , Tobacco, Smokeless , Adult , Male , Pregnancy , Child , Humans , Female , Nicotine , Cohort Studies , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tobacco Use , Norway/epidemiology
3.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 662, 2023 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293317

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tobacco use among underage individuals is a public health concern. Timely data about tobacco products, especially emerging products such as novel oral nicotine products (NPs), can provide critical information for the prevention of underage tobacco use. With a recent federal law raising the legal age of purchase of tobacco products from 18 to 21, it is of interest to benchmark awareness and use of tobacco products in the new underage population, young adults 18-20 years old. This study provides estimates on awareness and use of tobacco products among underage individuals 13-20 years old during May 2020 to August 2022 in the United States. METHODS: Altria Client Services Underage Tobacco Use Survey (UTUS) is a repeated cross-sectional survey conducted every quarter-year. A stratified random sampling approach was used to draw nationally representative samples of household dwelling individuals 13-20 years old. Information about the awareness and use of tobacco products was obtained via online self-administration or phone interviews after a consent/assent process. RESULTS: A sizable portion of underage individuals were aware of NPs (~ 40% among youth and ~ 50% among underage young adults), although past 30-day use was low (< 2%). The lowest levels of awareness and use were observed for heated tobacco products and snus. E-cigarettes were the most used tobacco products among underage individuals. Underage young adults (i.e., 18-20 year olds) were more likely to use tobacco products than youth (i.e., 13-17 year olds). There was no substantial change over time in the awareness and use of tobacco products during the study period despite a slight increase in past 30-day prevalence of e-cigarette use among youth between quarter 1 of 2021 and quarter 2 of 2022. CONCLUSIONS: The awareness and use of tobacco products remained relatively stable between May 2020 and August 2022. There is a notable level of awareness of novel NPs among underage individuals.


Subject(s)
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Adolescent , Young Adult , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Adult , Tobacco , Cross-Sectional Studies , Tobacco Use/epidemiology
4.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 649, 2023 04 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303330

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: E-cigarettes are the most-commonly used tobacco product by youth since 2014. To prevent youth access and use of e-cigarettes, many U.S. states and localities have enacted policies over a relatively short period of time. The adoption of these policies has necessitated timely data collection to evaluate impacts. METHODS: To assess the impact of flavored e-cigarette policies in select states and local jurisdictions across the United States, a multi-method, complementary approach was implemented from July 2019 to present, which includes analyses of cross-sectional online surveys of young people ages 13-24 years with retail sales data. RESULTS: From February 2020 through February 2023, cross-sectional surveys have been conducted in three cities, one county, and eight states where policy changes have been enacted or are likely to be enacted. Data collection occurred every six months to provide near real-time data and examine trends over time. Additionally, weekly retail sales data were aggregated to showcase monthly sales trends at the national level and for the selected states. DISCUSSION: This rapid and efficient method of coupling online survey data with retail sales data provides a timely and effective approach for monitoring a quickly changing tobacco product landscape, particularly for states and localities where rapidly-available data is often not available. This approach can also be used to monitor other health behaviors and relevant policy impacts.


Subject(s)
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Adolescent , Humans , United States , Young Adult , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Public Policy , Flavoring Agents , Health Policy
5.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 759, 2023 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, reports about a possible protective effect of nicotine on COVID-19 conflicted with messaging by public health organizations about increased risks of COVID-19 due to smoking. The ambiguous information the public received, combined with COVID-19-induced anxiety, may have led to changes in tobacco or other nicotine product use. This study examined changes in use of combustible cigarettes (CCs), nargila (hookah/waterpipe), e-cigarettes, and IQOS and home-smoking behaviors. We also assessed COVID-19 related anxiety and perceptions regarding changes in risk of COVID-19 severity due to smoking. METHODS: We used cross-sectional data from a population telephone survey that was conducted in Israel in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic (May-June 2020) and included 420 adult (age 18+) individuals who reported having ever used CCs (n = 391), nargila (n = 193), and/or electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)/heated tobacco products (e.g., IQOS) (n = 52). Respondents were asked about the effect that COVID-19 had on their nicotine product use (quit/reduced use, no change, increased use). We assessed changes in product use, risk perceptions, and anxiety using adjusted multinomial logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Most respondents did not change their frequency of product use (CCs: 81.0%, nargila: 88.2%, e-cigarettes/IQOS: 96.8%). A small percentage either decreased use (CCs: 7.2%, nargila: 3.2%, e-cigarettes/IQOS:2.4%) or increased use (CCs:11.8%, nargila:8.6%, e-cigarettes/IQOS:+ 0.9%). 55.6% of respondents used a product in the home prior to COVID-19; but during the first lockdown COVID-19 period, a greater percentage increased (12.6%) than decreased (4.0%) their home use. Higher levels of anxiety due to COVID-19 were associated with increased home smoking (aOR = 1.59, 95% CI:1.04-2.42, p = 0.02). Many respondents believed that increased severity of COVID-19 illness was associated with CCs (62.0%) and e-cigarettes/vaping (45.3%), with uncertainty about the association being lower for CCs (20.5%) than for vaping (41.3%). CONCLUSIONS: While many respondents believed that nicotine product use (particularly CCs and e-cigarettes) was associated with increased risk of COVID-19 disease severity, the majority of users did not change their tobacco/nicotine use. The confusion about the relationship between tobacco use and COVID-19 calls for clear evidence-based messaging from governments. The association between home smoking and increased COVID-19-related stress suggests the need for campaigns and resources to prevent smoking in the home, particularly during times of stress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Adult , Humans , Adolescent , Nicotine/adverse effects , Tobacco , Self Report , Israel/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Anxiety/epidemiology
6.
NPJ Prim Care Respir Med ; 33(1): 8, 2023 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254901

ABSTRACT

Heated tobacco products have a rapid uptake, especially among young people, mostly where advertising is unregulated, as is the case in Romania. This qualitative study explores the influence of direct marketing methods of heated tobacco products on young people, their perception and behaviour towards smoking. We have carried out 19 interviews with smokers of heated tobacco products (HTPs) or/and combustible cigarettes (CCs) or non-smokers (NS), aged 18-26. Using the thematic analysis, we have identified three overarching themes: (1) people, places, and subjects of marketing, (2) engagement with risk narratives and (3) social body, family bonds, and autonomous self. Even if most of the participants have been exposed to a mix of marketing methods, they did not acknowledge the influence that marketing has on their decision to experience smoking. Young adults' decision to use heated tobacco products seems to be influenced by a cluster of reasons: overcoming the legislation gap which prohibits indoor use of combustible cigarettes but not heated tobacco products; the attractivity of the product (novelty, inviting appearance, technological appeal and price) and presumed less damaging effects on health.


Subject(s)
Marketing , Tobacco Products , Humans , Young Adult , Adolescent , Romania , Smoking , Tobacco Smoking , Tobacco Products/adverse effects
7.
Addict Behav ; 141: 107650, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253955

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with increased negative mood in youth, and a few reports of changes in tobacco use. We sought to increase the depth of knowledge on the effects of the pandemic on early young adult mood states, access to tobacco products and tobacco use behaviors, and knowledge of risks associated with tobacco use and COVID-19 by learning more about the lived experience of the pandemic among young adults early in their smoking trajectories. METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 25 young adults ages 18-20 (M = 19) who smoked cigarettes daily or nearly every day and had used electronic cigarettes (ECs) on ≥ 2 occasions in their lifetime. RESULTS: Our results uncovered several themes: 1) The majority of teens experienced mental health disturbances as a result of the pandemic, which manifested as depression, anxiety, and/or acute loneliness due to social isolation; 2) tobacco purchasing behaviors sometimes changed, with both greater and less access reported among participants; 3) changes in tobacco use were also reported, with some reporting increases in use, others reporting decreases, and a few reporting quitting; and 4) while some youth reported that tobacco use could increase their risk related to COVID-19, the majority reported confusion and uncertainty about how tobacco use impacted their risk. CONCLUSIONS: The themes identified specific factors that may account for the heterogeneity of impacts of the pandemic on tobacco use, and highlight the value of qualitative work for centering the lived experience of youth for understanding larger trends in substance use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cigarette Smoking , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Adolescent , Humans , Young Adult , Adult , Pandemics
8.
J Epidemiol ; 33(7): 367-371, 2023 07 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2259923

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the robust evidence of an excess risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity and mortality in ever smokers, the debate on the role of current and ex-smokers on COVID-19 progression remains open. Limited or no data are available on the link between electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), heated tobacco product (HTP) and second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure and COVID-19 progression. To fill this knowledge gap, we undertook the COvid19 and SMOking in ITaly (COSMO-IT) study. METHODS: A multi-centre longitudinal study was conducted in 2020-2021 in 24 Italian hospitals on a total of 1,820 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients. We estimated multivariable odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to quantify the association between smoking-related behaviours (ie, smoking status, e-cigarette and HTP use, and SHS exposure) and COVID-19 severity (composite outcome: intubation, intensive care unit admission and death) and mortality. RESULTS: Compared to never smokers, current smokers had an increased risk of COVID-19 mortality (OR 2.17; 95% CI, 1.06-4.41). E-cigarette use was non-significantly associated to an increased risk of COVID-19 severity (OR 1.60; 95% CI, 0.96-2.67). An increased risk of mortality was observed for exposure to SHS among non-smokers (OR 1.67; 95% CI, 1.04-2.68), the risk being particularly evident for exposures of ≥6 hours/day (OR 1.99; 95% CI, 1.15-3.44). CONCLUSION: This multicentric study from Italy shows a dismal COVID-19 progression in current smokers and, for the first time, in SHS exposed non-smokers. These data represent an additional reason to strengthen and enforce effective tobacco control measures and to support smokers in quitting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Tobacco Smoke Pollution , Humans , Tobacco Smoke Pollution/adverse effects , Tobacco , Longitudinal Studies , Japan , Tobacco Smoking/adverse effects , Tobacco Smoking/epidemiology
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(3)2023 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2282265

ABSTRACT

Limited data exist on the awareness, beliefs, and use of heated tobacco products (HTPs). Data from 1583 U.S. adult (age ≥ 21 years) current tobacco users were collected in 2021. Participants self-reported HTP awareness, beliefs, use, and susceptibility, as well as current tobacco product use and sociodemographics. We used weighted logistic and multinomial regression models to explore their associations. Overall, 23.6% were aware of, 8.9% had ever used, and 3.0% currently used HTPs. Younger individuals (vs. 61+ years), those with annual income $50,000+ (vs. <$50,000), and those currently using electronic vaping products (vs. non-users) were more likely to be aware of, to have ever used, and to currently be using HTPs (p < 0.05). Black individuals (vs. White) were more likely to report ever and current HTP use (p < 0.05). Current cigarette smoking was not associated with HTP awareness and use (p > 0.05). Holding favorable HTP beliefs was associated with susceptibility to and more advanced HTP use statuses (p < 0.05). Sociodemographics associated with HTP use may reflect HTP marketing strategies. The lack of association with cigarette smoking suggests HTPs may be unlikely cigarette substitutes. Addressing favorable HTP-related beliefs may prevent dual use.


Subject(s)
Cigarette Smoking , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Tobacco Use Disorder , Humans , Adult , Young Adult , Tobacco , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tobacco Use
10.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse ; 49(2): 239-248, 2023 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252310

ABSTRACT

Background: Individuals experienced increased social isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies have found social isolation and loneliness to be strongly associated with anxiety and depression, which have been associated with increased smoking and vaping rates among young adults, including college students.Objectives: To examine relationships between psychological distress and nicotine use within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.Methods: A cross-sectional online survey (n = 4634; 77.9% female) was used to collect nicotine use and psychological measures from students enrolled at a large Midwestern university. Timeline follow-back data were collected from students reporting current cigarette or electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in the week before and immediately following the closure of campus due to the pandemic. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the interaction between nicotine use and psychological symptoms across the 2-week period.Results: Both cigarette (Rate ratio (RR) = 1.115, 95% CI = 1.061, 1.171, p < .0001) and e-cigarette (ß = 0.258, 95% CI = 0.166, 0.351, p < .0001) use increased significantly following campus closure. Students experiencing higher levels of depression reported greater increases in e-cigarette use frequency over time as compared to students reporting fewer symptoms of depression (ß = 0.018, 95% CI = 0.006, 0.030, p = .004).Conclusions: Increases in nicotine use were found immediately following the implementation of public health safety measures that closed most university campuses. Additional and/or increased stressors have potentially impacted young adults who are college students as a result of campus closures resulting from the pandemic, which may have contributed to further increases in nicotine use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Psychological Distress , Tobacco Products , Vaping , Young Adult , Humans , Female , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Vaping/epidemiology , Nicotine , Universities , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies
11.
J Mol Med (Berl) ; 101(3): 327-335, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2231755

ABSTRACT

The impact of tobacco cigarette (TCIG) smoking and electronic cigarette (ECIG) vaping on the risk of development of severe COVID-19 is controversial. The present study investigated levels of proteins important for SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis present in plasma because of ectodomain shedding in smokers, ECIG vapers, and non-smokers (NSs). Protein levels of soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), angiotensin (Ang) II (the ligand of ACE2), Ang 1-7 (the main peptide generated from Ang II by ACE2 activity), furin (a protease that increases the affinity of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for ACE2), and products of ADAM17 shedding activity that predict morbidity in COVID-19 (IL-6/IL-6R alpha (IL-6/IL-6Rα) complex, soluble CD163 (sCD163), L-selectin) were determined in plasma from 45 NSs, 30 ECIG vapers, and 29 TCIG smokers using ELISA. Baseline characteristics of study participants did not differ among groups. TCIG smokers had increased sCD163, L-selectin compared to NSs and ECIG vapers (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). ECIG vapers had higher plasma furin compared to both NSs (p < 0.001) and TCIG smokers (p < 0.05). ECIG vaping and TCIG smoking did not impact plasma ACE2, Ang 1-7, Ang II, and IL-6 levels compared to NSs (p > 0.1 for all comparisons). Further studies are needed to determine if increased furin activity and ADAM17 shedding activity that is associated with increased plasma levels of sCD163 and L-selectin in healthy young TCIG smokers may contribute to the future development of severe COVID-19 and cardiovascular complications of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Humans , Smokers , SARS-CoV-2 , Tobacco , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Furin , Cross-Sectional Studies , Interleukin-6 , L-Selectin
12.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 1120, 2023 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2221858

ABSTRACT

Insufficient evidence has been accumulated regarding associations of heated tobacco products (HTPs) use with coronavirus infection and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an ongoing pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from an internet questionnaire administered in February 2022 to 30,130 individuals from the general Japanese population (age range, 16-81 years). Single users of HTPs and dual users of combustible cigarettes and HTPs comprised 5.2% and 7.3% of respondents, and 6.7% and 38.0% of those infected (n = 1117). Approximately 70% of infected dual users experienced severe disease. Single users of HTPs and dual users were more likely to be infected with coronavirus than never-users (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.65/4.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-2.15/3.89-5.58). Regarding severity, former and current tobacco users (former/combustible cigarettes/HTPs: aOR = 1.88/3.17/1.90; 95%CI 1.11-3.19/1.77-5.67/1.01-3.59) were more likely to be administered oxygen than never-users, and dual users required oxygen administration the most (aOR = 4.15, 95%CI 2.70-6.36). Use of HTPs may increase risks of coronavirus infection and severe COVID-19. Our results provide an opportunity to consider the safety of tobacco products use, including HTPs, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Humans , Adolescent , Young Adult , Adult , Middle Aged , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Japan/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tobacco Products/adverse effects , Tobacco/adverse effects , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tobacco Use
13.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila) ; 15(9): 569-580, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2214097

ABSTRACT

E-cigarette use has been increasing globally over the past decade. Many use e-cigarettes as an alternative or method to quit cigarette smoking, whereas others use these products recreationally. As technology has advanced, many individuals have reported symptoms of dependence on these products and continue to use them beyond achieving abstinence from smoking. Despite individuals reporting interest in quitting, little is known about e-cigarette cessation. This systematic review sought to identify and evaluate all human subjects literature published on the outcome of e-cigarette cessation through September 2021. Of the 79 articles identified, 56 were cross-sectional, 6 were qualitative, 5 were cohort studies, 3 were experimental, 2 were mixed methods, and 7 reported intervention or case studies of e-cigarette cessation. Results showed youth generally had high intent to quit e-cigarettes, whereas results were mixed with adult samples. Youth were motivated to quit e-cigarettes by health concerns, whereas adults were motivated to quit e-cigarettes by cost, lack of satisfaction, and psychologic factors. Adults were more likely to report past e-cigarette quit attempts, most commonly "cold turkey." Few interventions tested strategies for e-cigarette cessation, with a majority targeted for youth. Given the lack of information on e-cigarette cessation, recommendations for future studies are outlined.


Subject(s)
Cigarette Smoking , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Smoking Cessation , Tobacco Products , Vaping , Adolescent , Adult , Cigarette Smoking/therapy , Humans , Smoking Cessation/methods , Vaping/adverse effects
14.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e067694, 2022 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2193803

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its intention to reduce the nicotine content in cigarettes as a strategy to promote cessation and reduce smoking-related harm. A low nicotine product standard will apply to all cigarettes on the market, including menthol cigarettes. In December 2021, the FDA approved a modified risk tobacco product application for menthol and non-menthol flavoured very low nicotine cigarettes (VLNC) from the 22nd Century Group. Notably, experimentation with menthol cigarettes is linked to smoking progression, as well as greater nicotine dependence relative to non-menthol cigarette use. If menthol VLNCs are perceived as more appealing than non-menthol VLNCs, this would indicate that some aspect of menthol may maintain smoking even in the absence of nicotine and FDA's regulatory authority to ban or restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes should apply to reduced nicotine content of cigarettes. In April 2022, the FDA announced proposed rulemaking to prohibit menthol cigarettes, however it is unclear if a menthol prohibition would apply to VLNCs. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study will recruit 172 young adult menthol smokers (with a specific subsample of n=40 sexual and gender minority young adults) and measure appeal for smoking experimental menthol and non-menthol VLNCs, and the impact of proposed product standards on tobacco product purchasing behaviour using an Experimental Tobacco Marketplace. Appeal across product standards will be assessed in a controlled laboratory and using ecological momentary assessment. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol was approved by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Institutional Review Board (#11865). Findings will examine the effects of a reduced nicotine standard and a menthol ban on young adult smoking and will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal articles and presentations at scientific conferences. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04340947.


Subject(s)
Tobacco Products , Tobacco Use Disorder , Humans , Young Adult , Menthol , Nicotine , Smokers
15.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(12): e2248678, 2022 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2172234

ABSTRACT

This cohort study estimates state-level changes in cigarette sales in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tobacco Products , Humans , Pandemics , Commerce
16.
PLoS One ; 17(12): e0278888, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2162588

ABSTRACT

The South African government imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the world as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, including a ban on the sale of tobacco products. This study explored news media coverage of arguments and activities in relation to the South African lockdown tobacco sales ban. We collected media articles published between 26 March to 17 August 2020, which corresponded to the period of the sales ban. Data were sourced via google search and snowball identification of relevant articles. Thematic analysis of data was conducted with the aid of NVivo. We analysed a total of 305 articles relevant to the South African tobacco sales ban during the lockdown. Six major themes were identified in the data: challenges associated with implementing the ban, litigation, and threats of litigation to remove the ban, governance process and politicization of the ban, pro and anti-tobacco sales ban activities and arguments and reactions to the announcement lifting the ban. The initial reason for placing the ban was due to the non-classification of tobacco products as an essential item. Early findings of a link between tobacco smoking and COVID-19 disease severity led to an extension of the ban to protect South Africa's fragile health system. Pro-sales ban arguments included the importance of protecting the health system from collapse due to rising COVID-19 hospitalization, benefit of cessation, and the need for non-smokers to be protected from exposure to secondhand smoke. Anti-sales ban arguments included the adverse effect of nicotine withdrawal symptoms on smokers, loss of jobs and the expansion of the illicit cigarette markets. Litigation against the ban's legality was a strategy used by the tobacco industry to mobilize the public against the ban while promoting their business through the distribution of branded masks and door-to-door delivery which goes against current tobacco regulations. The media could serve as a veritable tool to promote public health if engaged in productive ways to communicate and promote public health regulations to the general population. Engagement with the media should be enhanced as part of health promotion strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Smoking Cessation , Tobacco Industry , Tobacco Products , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Commerce , Tobacco
17.
Front Public Health ; 10: 904971, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154832

ABSTRACT

Tobacco is both toxic and addictive. Mounting evidence shows that tobacco use has a detrimental impact on almost every aspect of human health, causing or worsening deadly public health crises from the cancer epidemic to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while tobacco use is a threat to both personal and public health, it continues to surge across the world, especially in China and other low- and middle-income countries. To this end, this article argues in favor of using a ban on the sale of all tobacco products as a practical solution to the global tobacco use epidemic. It is our hope that insights provided by our work will inspire swift policy actions in countries such as China and beyond to curb the tide of rising tobacco consumption, so that populations around the world could be better shielded from the pervasive and long-lasting damage that tobacco products cause or compound.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tobacco Products , Humans , Pandemics , Smoking/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Commerce
18.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1799, 2022 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038714

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Flavored tobacco products are highly appealing to youth. The Federal government lacks a comprehensive flavored tobacco products policy and states have adopted different approaches restricting these products. This study analyzes the impact of Massachusetts' comprehensive prohibition and New Jersey's partial restriction on the sale of flavored tobacco products. METHODS: NielsenIQ Retail Scanner data were used to construct four log per capita dependent variables: e-liquid milliliters, cigarette packs, cigars, and smokeless tobacco ounces for products flavored as fruit, menthol, mint, tobacco and other. All models used difference-in-differences regressions, with Virginia and Pennsylvania serving as controls. The models controlled for state level product prices, population percentages by race/ethnicity, proportion male, median household income, unemployment rate, minimum legal sales age, tobacco 21 policies, and cumulative cases and deaths of COVID-19; the models accounted for time-specific factors by using 4-week period fixed-effects. RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in sales across all flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts, including fruit [-99.83%, p < 0.01], menthol [-98.33%, p < 0.01], and all other flavored [-99.28%, p < 0.01] e-cigarettes. The cigar group "all other-flavors" [-99.92%, p < 0.01] and menthol flavored cigarettes [-95.36%, p < 0.01] also significantly decreased. In New Jersey, there was a significant decrease in per capita sales of menthol-flavored e-cigarettes [-83.80%, p < 0.05] and cigar group "all other-flavors" experienced a significant increase in per capita sales [380.66%, p < 0.01]. CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the impact of sales prohibitions on reducing sales of flavored tobacco products. Statewide comprehensive approaches appear more effective than partial restrictions and should be prioritized. IMPLICATIONS: Results from this study support emerging research that demonstrates the promising effects of comprehensive flavoring sales prohibitions. This study can be used to inform future flavored tobacco product policy solutions developed by advocates and policy makers to curb overall tobacco initiation and use by youth and adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Tobacco Products , Adolescent , Adult , Flavoring Agents , Humans , Male , Menthol
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(18)2022 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2032975

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of smoking and e-cigarette use among primary care patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess the frequency of minimal anti-tobacco interventions by family doctors. A cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2020 to December 2021 encompassing 896 patients over 18 years of age who used primary health care in the city of Lodz, Poland. In total, 21.2% of the respondents were smokers, 11.6% were e-cigarette users, and 7.3% dual users. In addition, 68.4% of smokers had been asked about smoking, while 62.9% of non-smokers and 33.7% of smokers were advised to quit smoking; furthermore, 71.1% of e-cigarette users and 72.3% of dual users were asked about tobacco use, and 17.3% and 21.5%, respectively, had been advised to quit smoking. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found men and alcohol users to receive more minimal anti-tobacco advice than women and non-alcohol users (OR = 1.46; p < 0.05 and OR = 1.45; p < 0.05), socio-demographic and health correlates did not increase the chances of obtaining minimal anti-tobacco interventions among smokers. People with a medium level of education had a higher chance of receiving minimal anti-tobacco intervention from their family doctor when using e-cigarettes and when they were dual users (OR = 2.06; p < 0.05 and OR = 2.51; p < 0.05). Smokers were less likely to receive minimal anti-tobacco interventions than reported in previous studies. Measures should be implemented to increase the minimum interventions provided by GPs in their daily work among all patients, not only those who use tobacco. Non-smokers should be encouraged to abstain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Smoking Cessation , Tobacco Products , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Poland/epidemiology , Primary Health Care , Smoking/epidemiology , Tobacco , Tobacco Smoking/epidemiology , Tobacco Use
20.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0274022, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029782

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In June 2020, Massachusetts implemented a law prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. This law was associated with significant declines in overall cigarette and menthol cigarette sales in Massachusetts, however it is unknown whether the law has increased cross-border sales in neighboring states where menthol cigarettes are still sold. METHODS: U.S. cigarette retail scanner data were licensed from the IRi Company. Cigarette pack sales were summed in 4-week periods during January 2020-December 2021 (n = 832). Outcomes were state-level pack sales per 1000 population, overall and by flavor status (menthol and non-flavored). A difference-in-differences analysis was used to examine adjusted sales for Massachusetts border states (New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island) before (January 2020-May 2020) and after (June 2020-December 2021) the Massachusetts's law, compared to 28 non-border states. Control variables included state and time fixed effects; real price per pack; tobacco control policies; COVID-19 cases and deaths, and related statewide closure; and state sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Following the law, unadjusted sales of menthol, non-flavored, and overall cigarettes trended upward in border states; however, these increases were not statistically significant or different from sales patterns in non-border states. This finding persisted after accounting for product prices, tobacco control policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, sociodemographic factors, and fixed effects. CONCLUSION: Laws prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol products, reduce access to these products, while having no significant impact on cross-border sales in neighboring states where menthol cigarettes are sold.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tobacco Products , Humans , Massachusetts , Menthol , Pandemics
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