COVID-19 has significant impacts on young smokers in their smoking behaviors. This qualitative study summarises the lived experience of young smokers during COVID-19. Moreover, through their lived experience, we aim to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic influence tobacco use behaviours in this population. A purposive sampling of 48 smokers aged between 17–25 years old is individually interviewed for 30 to 45 min. All interviews are transcribed in verbatim and analysed by two researchers separately using Colaizzi’s method of descriptive phenomenology. The results reveal the following six important themes, which could explain the mixed pattern of smoking behaviour changes in young smokers: (1) perceptions of COVID-19 and its association with smoking, (2) more time at home, (3) taking masks off to smoke, (4) the effects of COVID-19 on smokers’ financial status and academic performance, (5) reduced social gatherings, and (6) restricted access to tobacco products. To conclude, this pandemic and the anti-pandemic measures, i.e., mask mandates, stay-at-home and work-from-home orders, and class suspension, result in both new obstacles and new advantages for smoking cessation among young people. More studies should be performed to monitor any transition of tobacco products and the trajectory of use in this population during this pandemic, thus informing public health policy making.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2022|
- smoking behaviour
- young smokers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis