Smokers smoked more during Covid pandemic
Nearly a fourth of smokers in the Netherlands have been using tobacco more heavily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trimbos Institute determined from a survey of smokers. The organization is kicking off its annual Stoptober campaign next month, where smokers are urged to give up the habit for 28 days or longer.
About 900 smokers were surveyed over the summer. “This shows that one in ten smokers (10%) started smoking less, while almost a quarter (24%) started smoking more,” Trimbos said. “It is not surprising that many smokers have started smoking more, because the corona crisis is causing stress for many people.”
Nine percent of smokers plan to take up the Stoptober challenge, with a majority saying the pandemic inspired them to quit smoking altogether. Some indicated they were concerned about how Covid-19 would affect them if they were infected with coronavirus, considering the disease can cause severe respiratory problems especially in patients who were already facing pulmonary distress.
About three percent said they were quitting out of concern for friends and family getting infected. Roughly two percent said they wanted to give up smoking because they feared they would earn a lower income due to the pandemic.
Some 84 percent of those surveyed said they were familiar with the annual Stoptober campaign. Those participating said they planned to use medication, nicotine substitutes, apps, and also support from family, friends, coaches and doctors.