Aims: To explore 1) associations between suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, hand washing, smoking status, e-cigarette use, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) use and 2) whether COVID-19 has prompted smoking and vaping quit attempts, and more smoking inside the home. Design: Cross-sectional household surveys of a representative sample of the population in England from April-May 2020. Participants: The sample included 3,285 adults aged [≥]18 years. Measurements: Participants who reported they definitely or think they had coronavirus were classified as having a suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. Participants were asked how often they wash their hands after returning home, before eating, before preparing foods or before touching their face. They were also asked whether, due to COVID-19, they had i) attempted to quit smoking, ii) attempted to quit vaping, and iii) changed the amount they smoke inside the home. Findings: Odds of suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection were significantly greater among current smokers (20.9%, adjusted odds ratio [ORadj]=1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.04-1.73) and long-term (>1-year) ex-smokers (16.1%, ORadj=1.33, 95%CI=1.05-1.68) than never smokers (14.5%). Recent (85%) regardless of nicotine use. A minority (12.2%) of past-year smokers who made a quit attempt in the past three months were triggered by COVID-19, and approximately one-in-ten current e-cigarette users reported attempting to quit vaping because of COVID-19. Most people reported smoking the same amount inside the home. Conclusions: In a representative sample of the adult population in England, current smokers and long-term ex-smokers had higher odds of suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection than never smokers, but there were no large differences by NRT or e-cigarette use. In general, engagement in hand washing was high regardless of nicotine or tobacco use. A minority of past-year smokers and current e-cigarette users, respectively, attempted to quit smoking/vaping due to COVID-19.
medrxiv Subject Collection: Infectious Diseases