08 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
INTRODUCTION: The relationship between current cigarette and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) dual use, exclusive use and COVID-19-related measures are still unclear. This study aims to assess the association between different tobacco use patterns and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, testing, self-reported infection and social distancing behaviors in the United Kingdom (UK). METHODS: Data come from the first wave of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) COVID-19 survey, comprising four birth cohorts (N = 13,077, aged 20-63 years) surveyed between 2 to 31 May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sociodemographic characteristics and COVID-19-related outcomes (symptoms, testing, diagnosis and social distancing behaviors) were compared across different product user groups (non-users, exclusive cigarette users, exclusive e-cigarettes users and dual use) using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel χ2 test. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to explore associations between COVID-19-related outcomes and different smoking patterns. RESULTS: Across all four cohorts, 12.6% and 4.9% of the respondents were current exclusive cigarette and e-cigarette users, respectively, with approximately 3% of the respondents being dual users. Significant differences in prevalence were observed between different tobacco use patterns and COVID-19 symptoms (
= 0.02), self-reported infection (
= 0.04) and social distancing behaviors (
< 0.001). Current cigarette and e-cigarette dual use was associated with 2.15-fold higher odds for reporting COVID-19 infection (aOR = 2.15; CI [1.15-4.05]). Compliance of social distancing behaviors were the lowest for current dual users (aOR = 0.58; CI [0.41-0.83]) and exclusive cigarette users (aOR = 0.72; CI [0.63-0.92]). CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight dual users' higher prevalence of having COVID-19 symptoms, infection and incompliance of social distancing behaviors. Self-reported infection was associated with dual product use; dual users and exclusive cigarette users were linked to poor adherence to social distancing behaviors. Smoking cessation support and further monitoring on multiple tobacco use among these populations should be reinforced as preventive measures to tackle the pandemic.