Smoking in 18 - 34 year old's increased by 25%

Research funded by Cancer Research UK has found that the number of 18 to 34 years olds that smoke rose by 25% in the first lockdown compared to before the pandemic. This works out as about 652,000 more young adults smoking. The study didn’t look at the reasons these people started smoking but it is thought they could be using smoking as a coping mechanism due to the stress of the pandemic.

Conversely the research also found that there was also an increase in the number of young people making quit attempts, compared to pre lockdown, but not in older adults. An increase in the numbers stopping smoking and successful quit attempts was also seen compared to before lockdown. In the years 2018/19 there was a 0.8% increase in successful quits and this increased to 99.2% in lockdown. This was seen across all age groups, and no difference was seen between men and women or across social grades.

The same study also found a 40% increase in high risk drinkers during the first lockdown with the number of women drinking at high risk levels increasing by 55% and the number of high risk drinkers from lower socio economic groups rising by 64%. Although attempts to cut down levels of drinking were seen this tended to be in those in higher socioeconomic groups.

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Smoking in 18 - 34 year old's increased by 25%