Original Research Paper
Changes In Tobacco Consumption Behaviour During Covid-19 Related Lockdown Among Employees Of Government Medical College, Gujarat
Swati Misra, Jimmy Kagathara, Dipesh Parmar
Background: Tobacco use is one of the major preventable causes of death and disability worldwide. Tobacco use is detrimental at any time. However, it is proving to be more dangerous during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tobacco use may increase the risk of being infected, increases the chances of complications, and also increases the probability of its spread. We assessed the awareness about this association and the impact of the lockdown on tobacco use among current tobacco users of Government Medical College, Gujarat. Aims and Objectives: Our aims and objective of the study is to assess the awareness about the association and the impact of the lockdown on tobacco use among current tobacco users (employees) of Government Medical College, Gujarat. Methodology: A study was conducted among 173 tobacco users (Class 3 & Class 4) of Government Medical College, Gujarat using simple random sampling technique. They were under active follow-up in their course of the 10-month counselling program from January 2020 to November 2020. The data was collected using pre-tested close ended questionnaire. The analysis was done using the SPSS statistical package Ethical approval was taken from the Institute Ethical Committee. Written informed consents were taken from all the respondents. Appropriate statistical test was used. Result: Two-thirds (68%) of tobacco users were unaware of the association between tobacco and COVID-19. Out of the 173 current tobacco users, 49 tobacco users quit tobacco during the lockdown period; out of which 51% quit because of the unavailability and increased prices of tobacco products and rest because of lockdown and their concern over COVID-19. Conclusion: The extent of awareness about the association of tobacco and COVID-19 influenced the tobacco users to stop tobacco use. Awareness activities about the harmful effects of tobacco during the pandemic have to be prioritized and further strengthened.
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