Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on smoking habits in a tertiary hospital

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2023 Feb;27(3):1170-1175. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202302_31223.


Objective: The aim of this study was to identify changes in smoking behaviors along with the reasons thereof, 1 year after the pandemic started. Alterations in the smoking behavior of patients were investigated in the study.

Patients and methods: Patients admitted to our Smoking Cessation Outpatient Clinic between March 1st, 2019, and March 1st, 2020, and registered in the Tobacco Addiction Treatment Monitoring System (TUBATIS) were evaluated. Patients were called in March 2021 by the same physician who conducted the smoking cessation outpatient clinic.

Results: When the first year of the pandemic was over, the smoking behavior of 64 (63.4%) patients did not change. Of the 37 patients who changed their smoking behavior, eight (21.6%) increased the amount of tobacco they consumed, twelve (32.5%) decreased the amount of tobacco they consumed, eight (21.6%) quit smoking, and nine (24.3%) relapsed smoking. When the reasons for the changes in smoking behavior were examined 1 year after the pandemic started, it was determined that the primary reason for patients who increased the amount of tobacco they consumed and started smoking again was stress, and the primary cause in those who reduced the number of cigarettes and quit smoking was health concerns due to the pandemic.

Conclusions: This result can be a guide for estimating smoking trends in future crises or pandemics and for making necessary plans during the pandemic period to increase the rate of smoking cessation.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Smoking
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Tobacco