To identify how best to provide smoking cessation advice and support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Preferences were assessed in relation to: (i) specific forms of tobacco cessation support (eg, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and various counseling formats); (ii) information sources (eg, government officials, doctors); and (iii) channels via which to receive relevant information (eg, television, social media).
An online survey was administered to adults who smoke tobacco in Australia (n = 604) and the UK (n = 600). Descriptive analyses were conducted to identify levels of interest in cessation support and information provision. Differences in responses according to demographic characteristics and smoking history were assessed.
Around half of the respondents were interested in receiving personal counseling and/or participating in a text support program over the next month. By far the most popular delivery mechanism for personal counseling was email. Three-quarters of the sample expressed an interest in receiving free, home-delivered NRT. The most popular information sources nominated by respondents seeking more information about smokers’ Covid-related risks were government departments and their doctor/general practitioner. Television and online news sources were the most preferred information dissemination channels.
The substantial levels of interest expressed in accessing various forms of cessation assistance within the next month suggest that Covid-19 may be increasing receptiveness to quitting. The strong interest in free, home-delivered NRT indicates that this may be a useful mechanism for facilitating quit attempts during the pandemic.