Tobacco Use during Ramadan Practices amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Deep South of Thailand

Pongtep Sutheravut, Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong, Rassamee Sangthong, Sawpheeyah Nima


The article describes a new method for the cross-sectional descriptive research that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the current global. The proposed method aimed to survey household tobacco use during Ramadan fasting in the 5 southernmost provinces by the internet collecting data during May - June 2020. The 880 household samples living for 1 year or more in Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat were sampled by stratified two-stage sampling. The eligible samples, both male and female, aged 18 years and over, were then simple random sampling to access the online questionnaires with a specific ID. The calculation confirmed the new method effectiveness evaluation by obtaining an OIC greater than 0.90 for content validity and a Cronbach's alpha larger than 0.85 for reliability. A total of 850 returned questionnaires provided a % response of 93.50 and finally analysed using descriptive statistics such as percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The results revealed the rapid response that: (1) in the previous year before a COVID-19 outbreak, of the 850 households, 562 were non-smoking households (66.12 %) and 288 tobacco smoking households (33.88 %). (2) For this year, there were 668 non-smoker household members (78.58%), 111 current smokers (13.06%), and 71 ex-smokers (8.35%). A mixed tobacco product use was 60.42% roll-your-own cigarettes, 51.39% of factory-made cigarettes, 2.08% of e-cigarettes, and 1.39% hookahs. There were 42.01% attempt to quit, 47.22% intend to quit, and 10.76 % continue to smoke during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new research method obtained the facts contributing to the creation of public policy for tobacco control at the community level during the pandemic situation. The online method can be applied for returning to the new normal posing new challenges to improve the household responses during a pandemic outbreak.



Keywords: COVID-19, Deep South, Ramadan fasting, Thailand, tobacco use.




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