Perceived Risk of Infection and Smoking Behavior Change During COVID-19 in Ohio

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© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Objective: The recent COVID-19 pandemic may catalyze smoking behavior modification. The purpose of the study was to examine factors associated with reducing smoking exposure during the COVID-19 outbreak. Design: Cross-sectional design using the Health Belief Model to develop an online survey distributed throughout Ohio early during the outbreak. Sample: 810 adults in Ohio (77.9% non-smokers, 22.1% current smokers). Measurements: Sociodemographic factors, smoking and behavior changes since the COVID-19 outbreak, and perceived risk of infection were collected. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with indoor smoking bans and factors associated with desire to quit smoking since the outbreak. Results: For the overall sample, the odds of indoor smoking bans were significantly associated with never smoked, college education, single-family residence, not living with smokers, and perceived importance of avoiding public places. For smokers, the desire to quit smoking since the COVID-19 outbreak was associated with diabetes and perceived risk of severe infection. Conclusions: Identified factors inform residential smoking exposure reduction through indoor smoking bans. Having an increased perceived risk of severe infection among smokers may motivate cessation. Public health nurses can provide accurate and accessible resources for smoking cessation during the COVID-19 pandemic to promote healthy lifestyle modification.