Researchers are already worried about the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening
A year after COVID-19 has changed the lives of millions of people, worrying signs suggest that the coronavirus may also slow the response to another deadly health threat: smoking.
Last year, few people contacted smokers to help quit smoking, and more smokers smoked, which led to the stress, anxiety and uncertainty of the pandemic, leading to an abnormal increase in cigarette sales.
Jen Cash, the director of the Minnesota Anti-Smoking Program, said: “If people have difficulty quitting in normal times, what happens when their lives suddenly hang upside down?”
Because many Americans are deprived of regular care and screening services, researchers have worried about the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening and opioid overdose.
However, according to data from the North American Quit Smoking Alliance, calls for smoking cessation services across the country fell by 27% last year, the largest drop in a decade. In a recent report, the Coalition of Anti-Smoking Advisors pointed out this epidemic, and people’s awareness of this epidemic has declined.
Another survey conducted by Harvard Medical School of 1,000 adult smokers found that during the first six months of the pandemic, about one-third reported an increase in smoking.
Alli Comstock, who lives in Los Angeles, lost her childcare job due to the pandemic last March, but she hasn’t smoked for seven years. Facing his first long-term unemployment, due to boredom and anxiety, he started smoking again.
Comstock, 32, said: “It makes me feel more peaceful.” She added that she knew cigarettes containing nicotine would not help relieve anxiety. It was not until November that he decided to quit smoking again.