Pandemic Fuels Stress-Smoking Among Young Britons, Survey Shows

Britain’s smokers have been lighting up more as the pandemic raised stress levels, a new survey found.

Some 39% of British smokers aged 18 to 34 said they are now smoking more regularly in a survey commissioned by market researcher Mintel. What’s more, 10% of respondents said they started smoking again after quitting. Overall, the poll found that 30% of smokers are lighting up more regularly.

“Smoking is seen as a small vice, especially during these times when there is little else to distract people,” said Roshida Khanom, who leads the beauty & personal care category at Mintel. She cited loneliness, boredom and concern about the future as drivers.

A majority of respondents also expressed concern that smoking puts them at higher risk during the pandemic. The World Health Organization has warned about such a link and a recent study showed smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may have elevated levels of an enzyme that helps the virus enter cells in their lungs.

Vaping rates also increased during the pandemic, and e-cigarettes are increasingly a go-to product for people trying to quit or cut back on smoking, according to the report.

The survey of 1,935 internet users aged 18 and older took place in October.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, has campaigned and given money in support of a U.S. ban on flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.