| 20 May 2024, Monday |

Nearly 652,000 people have started smoking in pandemic: Study

Cooking, meditation, exercising and more… are habits that people started to practice during the coronavirus lockdown that started in 2020.

However, some people seem to have taken up an unhealthy habit too, i.e., smoking.

According to a study, during the first lockdown, the UK saw an increase in the number of smokers and drinkers in the country.

Findings from a study conducted by the Cancer Research UK were published in a journal Addiction. These findings claim that majority of new smokers age between 18 to 34 years.

As per the data, nearly 652,000 young adults have started smoking since the pandemic began.

The findings have been concluded after conducting a survey on hundreds of people, which is a common monthly practice for the researchers of the organisation.

Researchers used data from seven months prior to the lockdown with the data collected during the first lockdown in 2020.

While the researchers have not been able to deduce the reason behind this increase in number of smokers, they have claimed that it might most probably be because of the increased stress in the pandemic.

However, the data also hints that some people also used this pandemic to ponder over the unhealthy side effects of smoking and decided to quit it.

“We found that many smokers took this opportunity to stop smoking, which is fantastic. However, the first lockdown was also a period of great stress for many people, and we saw rates of smoking and risky drinking increase among groups hardest hit by the pandemic,” said lead researcher Dr Sarah Jackson, from University College London. “It will be important to keep a close eye on how these increases in smoking and drinking develop over time to ensure appropriate support is made accessible for anyone who needs it.”