More Than Half a Million Young Adults Started Smoking to Help Cope With Stressful First Lockdown

Efforts to reduce the number of smoking Brits appear to have been partially undone last year as many young adults took to smoking – as well as to over-drinking alcohol – to help them cope with the stress and boredom of the first lockdown. The Sun has the story.

The number of 18 to 34 year-olds sparking up increased by 25% – an extra 652,000 people – a worrying study revealed.

And an extra 4.5 million people, mainly women, developed drink problems, researchers from University College London found.

The study showed a 40% rise in problem drinking across all age groups. Women were most affected, with a 55% increase.

Younger people, particularly those from poorer backgrounds, were most likely to start smoking.

Dr. Sarah Jackson, from UCL, said: “Lockdown was a period of great stress for many people and we saw rates of smoking and problem drinking increase among groups hardest hit by the pandemic.

“People mistakenly believe smoking relieves stress, so some may have used tobacco or alcohol as a means of coping with increased stress or boredom.” …

Last year, the Office for National Statistics found the number of people who smoked had fallen dramatically over the past decade – from nearly 20% in 2011 to just under 14%.

In particular, the habit had fallen out of fashion among 18 to 24 year-olds.

Worth reading in full.