The chronic conditions and the weakened immune response caused by tobacco use predispose smokers to severe respiratory infections. Based on the available evidence, tobacco smoking is associated with a poorer prognosis in COVID-19. To promote further research and better understanding of the risk factors, it is important to record the tobacco use status of the patients.
Resources are available to support the integration of tobacco questions to patient records and epidemiological surveillance, and to update the evidence base:
The hosting institute of the WHO FCTC Secretariat’s Knowledge Hub on Surveillance, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), has launched a national COVIDprog-study with the aim of investigating how individual factors, including genetic determinants and lifestyles, affect the causation of severe coronavirus infections.
The subjects in the study will fill in questionnaires about their general state of health and lifestyles. In addition, data from national registers and the results of diagnostic tests routinely carried out at the hospital while treating COVID-19 patients, including laboratory results and blood pressure readings, will be used in the study.
Tobacco use and vaping (the use of electronic cigarettes) are among the studied lifestyle factors in the COVIDprog-study. The measures used in the questionnaire are similar to measures used in the Finnish adult population health surveys for tobacco control monitoring.
To facilitate information exchange in the implementation of the Article 20 or the WHO FCTC, with the permission of the COVIDprog-study, we are sharing the English translations of the tobacco and nicotine use questions of the COVIDprog-study questionnaire.
More information of the study is available here.
Tobacco and vaping questions in the COVIDprog-study questionnaire (THL):