ONE MILLION BRITS QUIT SMOKING DURING THE PANDEMIC
According to a survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), since the pandemic hit in March 2020, more than one million UK smokers have ditched cigarettes.
Unfortunately, since March 2020, there has been very little good news to come out of the media due to the global pandemic. However, a large reduction in people smoking is certainly a silver lining - There are different reports that state varying information, but they all suggest the same thing – more brits have quit smoking in the last year.
A survey was carried out from mid-April to mid-June and during that time period, the habits of 10,000 smokers were tracked. From this study, information was gathered to estimate that more than a million smokers in the UK have quit smoking since the start of the pandemic.
Before the Covid-19 hit UK shores, data from The Office of National Statistics, states that there were 7.2 million smokers in the UK.
Data from University College London (UCL) shows that a record breaking number of smokers have quit smoking in the year running up to June 2020. The UCL research has been running since 2007 and the percentage of individuals smoking who have quit reached the highest figure since records began, coming in at 7.6% (June 2019/2020).
During this period, there has not only been a huge shift in successful quitters, but a further 440,000 smokers have attempted to quit (according to the ASH survey) and 41% of quitters said that their reason for quitting was directly related to Coronavirus.
SMOKING DURING CORONAVIRUS
There has been a plethora of strong evidence that suggests the effects of Covid-19 can be much more serious in smokers. In March 2021, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said “It is abundantly clear that smoking makes the impact of a coronavirus worse”. Researchers at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital and King’s College London suggest that smokers who contract Coronavirus are around twice as likely as non-smokers to end up in hospital.
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”.
Considering the majority of people in the UK followed the national lockdown laws, washed their hands more than ever, used more hand sanitizer and made serious changes in their diets and exercise to limit the risk of catching Covid. Yet when adult smokers are informed again about the dangers of smokers, many choose to ignore the medical advise and continued to light up. Could the pandemic be a missed opportunity for the other 6 million+ adults who continue to smoke cigarettes?
WHY QUITTING SMOKING DURING COVID–19 IS SO IMPORTANT
COVID-19 is a respiratory viral infection that affects the lungs and airways. There is strong evidence that smoking tobacco is generally associated with an increased risk of developing many respiratory diseases and viral infections.
This means that if you smoke, you may have an increased risk of contracting such infections, such as COVID-19, and you are more likely to have underlying smoking-related conditions, which could lead to more severe health outcomes from diseases.
Faced with this global pandemic that attacks the respiratory system, you would expect to see smokers quitting in their droves and a noticeable decline in tobacco sales to help protect themselves from catching the virus. Despite the large number of people quitting, it seems that those people who are still smoking are doing it a lot more than before! Sales of tailor-made cigarettes rose 7.3% to £12.4bn for the year to 9 January 2021, while rolling tobacco sales were up a whopping 36.3% from just shy of £3bn to just over £4bn.
Common sense would suggest that smoking volumes should decrease during a pandemic, but these increases may be due to more stress (working from home, illness), elevated levels of depression or general boredom of being locked down.
THE UK GOVERNMENT’S ADVICE ABOUT QUITTING DURING COVID19
The evidence on quitting smoking during Coronavirus is mixed and ongoing, but information from the gov.uk website advises:
Smoking can increase the risk of catching Covid-19 and the severity of the disease
If you are able to quit smoking, this will bring immediate benefits to your health and help improve your chances of surviving Covid-19
E-Cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes
E-Cigarettes (vapes) are one of the best tools to help you quit smoking and staying smoke-free
For most people vaping remains significantly less harmful than smoking and it is very important that you avoid returning to smoking
Despite much of the mis-information about e-cigarettes published by some of the sensationalist media outlets looking to cash in on the shock value of unsubstantiated headlines, the UK Government continues to be pro e-cigarettes and vaping, especially during the global pandemic.
WILL AN E-CIGARETTE HELP ME STOP SMOKING DURING COVID19?
There is growing evidence that show that you can stop smoking with e-cigarettes and vaping has been successfully used by over 3m smokers in the UK already.
As well as stopping the urge to smoke, using an e-cigarette can also help you to manage your nicotine cravings. But to be able to get the best effectiveness from your e-cigarette, it is important to make sure you are using it as much as you need to and with the right strength of nicotine in your e liquid.
Vaping has been found to be such a successful tool in the bid to quit smoking because it takes care of all your smoking triggers. Hand to mouth, inhaling, throat hit, exhaling and keeping the hands occupied. In fact, recent studies from the NHS Stop Smoking Service now claims that people who use e-cigarettes as part of a quit smoking attempt are up to 74% more successful than going cold turkey alone. They also suggest that vaping is the most popular means of quitting in the UK.
ARE YOU THINKING OF KICKING THE CIGARETTE HABIT DURING COVID19?
SMOKO would like to say a massive congratulations to everyone that has had the strength to quit smoking, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the lockdowns, the SMOKO store in Tunbridge Wells has been busy with online and click and collect orders. We have been working hard to make sure that all our customers receive the best service, and this has been reflected through the influx of recent 5 star customers reviews on Review.io and on google.
Since SMOKO’s inception over 9 years ago, we have prevented over 275m cigarettes from being consumed and our customers have saved over £100m.
There are lots of people who find e-cigarettes helpful to kick the habit of smoking and the best thing about them is that they DON’T have all the 4,000+ chemicals or 50 known carcinogens found in a traditional cigarette.
If you are ready to finally make a change and you want to stop smoking, then why not give SMOKO’s E Cigarettes a go. If after reading the above you feel that you would like some advice on this subject, feel free to contact us at SMOKO and we can help you along the way or you can try one of our E-Cigarette Starter Kits now.