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Trends UK Survey Millions Are Smoking More Due to the COVID-19 Crisis

A UK survey conducted by the Guardian indicated that about 2.2 million people in the UK, may be smoking more than usual during the coronavirus crisis.

Responses to the Guardian appeal for feedback about smoking behaviour during the current crises cited heightened anxiety and stress as reasons for increased smoking. Other reasons offered for the increased smoking rates were the relative freedom of working from home and an excuse to step outside.

The representative study of about 2,000 people was conducted between the 30th of April and the 13th of May in YouGovs Covid-19 tracker. Approximately 2.2 million people in the UK may be smoking more than usual during the coronavirus crisis, a further 4.8 million are thought to be smoking the same amount as before the pandemic, while 1.9 million are believed to have cut down.

News of the survey came as Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) accused the government of taking too long to release £350,000 in funding for a quit smoking for coronaviruscampaign by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Ash points out that this delay led to missing a unique window of opportunityto encourage smokers as the pandemic closes.

Study looking at the relationship between Covid-19 and increased smoking rates

In line with this, a UK paper recently published on BJGP Open pointed out that the Coronavirus outbreak risks an increase in smoking rates amongst Englands current and former smokers.

Titled COVID-19: Risk of increase in smoking rates among Englands 6 million smokers and relapse among Englands 11 million ex-smokers, the paper voiced the concerns of a Sessional GP, Medical Director at the centre for Health Research and member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Pooja Patwardhan.

In line with arguments by other health experts, and the responses gathered by the Guardian survey, Patwardhan pointed out that the stress brought about by the current situation may have a negative impact on smoking rates. As the world goes into lockdown, social distancing and self-isolation are likely to make the society very lonely and life more stressful,she said.

With my experience of working in preventive medicine and smoking cessation, the uncertainty and the stress might push current smokers to smoke more cigarettes and ex-smokers to relapse back to smoking. A perfect (bad) storm for relapsing and smoking more,she added.

Vapesourcing Opinion:

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, all e-cigarette stores were closed, causing some people to smoke again.

Now in the UK, the vape store has been approved to reopen on June 15, which will effectively curb the rising trend of smoking.
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