April 19, 2021
A report by ITV news has highlighted how the increased stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has “fuelled Britain’s nicotine habit”, as more than half of smokers admitted to “stress-smoking” more, and 10 percent lapsing after having previously quit.
The survey, by Mintel, also showed how young people, specifically, are taking refuge in the habit, with 39 percent of smokers aged 18-34 saying they are now smoking more regularly.
Overall, 30 percent of smokers are smoking more regularly since the start of the pandemic.
Reacting to the findings, John Dunne, director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association said: “While it was good to see that the report showed that sales of e-cigarettes have increased by 7%, it is shocking to see so many smokers smoking more or returning to their habit in this day and age when there are much less harmful alternatives, such as vape products, available.
“The overriding problem is that misinformation on vaping is still prevalent. Many smokers still believe that it is at least as harmful, or indeed more of a health risk than smoking, when evidence from highly credible and respectable organisations such as Public Health England, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK show that using vape products is a fraction of the risk of conventional cigarettes.
“As an industry we are already calling upon Government in their review of the Tobacco Related Products Regulations to look at evidence-based messaging we can include on product packaging to raise awareness of the significant harm reduction opportunity that vaping represents for current smokers, including those that have wavered recently due to the pandemic and returned to their habit that they’d worked so hard to leave behind in the first place.
The survey, based on a survey of 1,935 adults aged over 18 in October 2020.