No ifs or butts about it, Covid stress has driven many back to smoking
While SA saw a dip in smoking during the ban, there has also been a drop in the number of people wanting to quit
Increased stress and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic may have pushed smokers to either smoke more or sway those trying quit back into smoking – raising fears of Covid-19 complications among this high-risk group should they contract the virus.
An editorial in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal has pointed out the evidence that suggests fewer smokers are quitting. The article raised concerns about the drop of calls to national quit-smoking lines, particularly in 2020 – the year many parts of the world were engulfed by lockdowns and growing stress levels.
The North American Quitline Consortium is one such organisations that received about 27% fewer calls to their operator portal in 2020 compared with 2019. Cigarette sales in the US also increased during 2020 for the first time in decades, with data suggesting vaping rates in adults had decreased. A national survey in the UK reported that 25% of current smokers were smoking more than usual...