According to a survey conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), more than one million people have given up on smoking since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
This has been the highest number in decades since the survey began in 2007.
Over the past 4 months, 41% smokers said that they quit smoking due to the pandemic. As per University College London (UCL) the most number of people quit smoking in the month of June. Ash director Deborah Arnott said:
Over a million smokers may have succeeded in stopping smoking since Covid-19 hit Britain, but millions more have carried on smoking.
Most of the smokers gave up smoking because the government said that smokers may be at risk of more severe Covid symptoms.
While some said that the pandemic played a huge role in their decision, others cited health concerns and difficulty in access to tobacco while isolating.
Nearly 7.6% smokers who took part in the survey quit smoking. Despite receiving a Covid negative report, Terrence Craggs from Newcastle revealed that he quit smoking after spending time in hospital on oxygen. He said:
I could hardly breathe. I was hunting for air all the time. [The pandemic] is more of an incentive to stay off them, even though it’s more difficult at the moment because of the stress.
The data also suggests that smokers who are coronavirus positive are more likely to be hospitalised and their chances of dying are higher as compared to a non-smoker.