Jul 1, 2020
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About 2.2 million Britons smoke more during the COVID-19 pandemic

The study showed that people began to smoke more often due to increased stress and remote work.

Another 4.8 million UK residents smoke as much as before the pandemic, 1.9 million smokers cut their daily cigarettes, The Guardian reports citing data from the online tracker of the YouGov Covid-19 research project. These conclusions were drawn from a representative survey in which 2,000 people participated.

The British, interviewed by the publication, said that they began to smoke more on the background of stress and increased anxiety due to restrictive measures, as well as because of relative freedom in remote work. For some respondents, smoking was the only reason to leave home. Some women began to smoke more from boredom and anxiety over the fact that they could gain weight in self-isolation.

Noel Baxter, medical adviser to the British Lung Foundation, said it was vital for smokers to get rid of the bad habit as soon as possible because they were more likely to get COVID-19. According to him, smokers are five times more likely to get the flu and twice as often as pneumonia, since smoking affects the pulmonary and immune systems. Baxter recommended using anti-nicotine patches and chewing gum, or switching to vapes, which are considered less dangerous than cigarettes.

In mid-May, the French Ministry of Health reported that after the introduction of restrictive measures, the French began to smoke more.

The survey showed that during self-isolation, 27% of smokers began to smoke significantly more often. 94% of respondents who smoke daily admitted that they began to smoke five more cigarettes a day. First of all, these are young people from 25 to 34 years old (41% of respondents) and those who work remotely from home (37%). At the same time, 55% of respondents said that they smoke as much as before quarantine, and 19% reduced their daily number of cigarettes.

At the same time, the French began to drink alcohol less frequently during quarantine - this was announced by 24% of respondents. 11% of respondents began to drink more, most of whom were people under 50 and parents with children under 16 years of age.

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