This site is intended for health professionals only


One million smokers quit during Covid lockdown, research suggests



A million cigarette smokers have quit during the Covid-19 lockdown in England, according to research by University College London and an anti-smoking campaign group.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and UCL reached the conclusion based on YouGov data gathered from over 10,000 respondents from 15 April to 20 June this year.

When extrapolated to the whole population, one million would have quit and a further 440,000 tried to quit.

Young people were most likely to have quit in the time period. Among 16-29-year-olds, 17% quit smoking, compared to 13% of people aged 30-49 and 7% of over-50s.

The researchers suggested this could be linked to young people losing the social setting in which they smoked, losing their jobs and having to move back in with family.

It said just under half of all respondents who quit specifically cited coronavirus as a reason.

It comes as a new Department of Health and Social Care-funded campaign, which will include radio adverts, is being rolled out to encourage more people to quit.

The campaign is supported by respiratory consultant Dr Ruth Sharrock, who commented: ‘Over a million smokers may have succeeded in stopping smoking since COVID-19 hit Britain, but millions more have carried on smoking. This campaign is designed to encourage those who’ve not yet succeeded, to wake up and decide today is the day to stop smoking.’

Pulse voluntary donation scheme

Since the outbreak of this pandemic, Pulse has strived to support you, whether it be through our resources page, our ‘Clinical Crises’ series, holding policymakers to account with exclusives such as practices being supplied with faulty masks, or GPs being told to stop routine services in the hardest hit areas.

However, good journalism cannot be done on the cheap and, like the whole publishing industry, we have been affected by the economic slowdown. We also strongly believe the content we produce should remain free as we feel it is essential for you. Because of this, we have set up a voluntary donation scheme. There is no compulsion whatsoever to donate. But if you feel we are helping you, and you would like to support us, anything you can spare would be greatly appreciated. Read more here.

Donate here

READERS' COMMENTS [1]

What is Driving the UK's Great Smoking Decline? - North West Connected 26 May, 2021 4:59 pm

[…] more, 2020 saw the most significant decline in smoking on record, with as many as one million people in the UK having packed in the habit in 2020. So, what are the trends driving this decline in […]