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One Million People Have Quit Smoking Due to Coronavirus

Cigarette Broken in Half

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a huge number of lifestyle changes for people across the globe. Whether it’s been the attempt to stop the spread of the disease by closing down key infrastructure, the ongoing difficulties faced by those undergoing medical treatment, or the concerted efforts of the public to practice social distancing, 2020 was a year unlike any before it.

In difficult situations such as these, it’s always helpful for our shared outlook to try and consider the positives, however small they are. One unanticipated side effect of COVID-19 has been a surge in people re-evaluating their own health and well-being. The biggest seismic shift in this regard has to have been the massive downturn in people smoking. 

With the impacts of coronavirus everywhere, it seems that people have taken a harder look at their unhealthy habits. A recent survey carried out in the UK by the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), revealed that more than one million people have given up smoking since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Of that number, 41% of them said it was in direct response to COVID-19. 

This isn’t just a health kick. There have been direct studies emphasising the importance of not smoking in managing coronavirus. Let’s look into why that is, and why vaping e-liquid offers a smarter alternative to the world of smoking.

Coronavirus Information

Dangers of smoking with coronavirus

As a respiratory disease, coronavirus was always going to lead to higher rates of complication in heavy smokers. Since COVID-19 targets the lungs, the throat, and other areas directly damaged by smoking, the ramifications are potentially very harmful. 

Data pulled from the Zoe COVID-19 symptom tracker app indicated that smokers were 14% more likely than non-smokers to develop the three most recognisable coronavirus symptoms: fever, a dry, persistent cough, and shallow breathing.

The Zoe COVID-19 symptom tracker app was developed in conjunction between two leading hospitals and King’s College London as a means of accurately mapping the impact of coronavirus. Until now, it has led to the data analysis of millions of UK participants. 

This analysis further found that COVID-19 symptoms would not only be worse amongst smokers, but also that they were twice as likely to be hospitalised. Similar research from the US  suggested that smokers who were hospitalised with coronavirus were 1.8 times as likely to die from the disease.

Public Health England's guidance states: "There is strong evidence that smoking tobacco is generally associated with an increased risk of developing respiratory viral infections. Smoking causes damage to the lungs and airways and harms the immune system, reducing your ability to fight infection."

It’s important to note that it is the process of smoking itself, rather than nicotine, that is seen as the damaging factor. The current consensus points to the fact that taking nicotine via a patch, gum or vaping carries far less risk than smoking itself.

Person refusing cigarettes

Number of people quitting smoking

Everyone knows smoking can be a life-threatening habit, therefore, it's not surprising that this latest information has led to such a spike in the number of people quitting smoking. 

Notably though, in the survey of 10,000 people undertaken by ASH, just under half of people who had quit in the past four months said the pandemic had impacted their decision. As well as the fears around COVID-19 itself, those polled also referenced wider health concerns, lack of social smoking and reduced access to tobacco and shops. 

The million people who quit smoking during 2020 makes for the highest figure in over a decade. A UCL study found that in 2020, 7.6% of smokers who took part in their annual Smoking Toolkit Study had quit. That’s a third higher than the average, and the highest figure since the survey was started in 2007.

Vape pen

Quitting smoking with e-liquids

If you’re thinking of quitting yourself, there have been even further studies that emphasise how efficient e-liquids are as a means of giving up smoking permanently. Another survey carried about by ASH in 2019 found that over 50% of vapers had quit smoking by vaping.

If you want to take steps to cutting down smoking in order to improve your health and wellbeing, vaping is a great step, but let’s quickly break down the basics.

First off, the liquid vapour produced from e-cigarettes contains significantly less chemicals than smoking does. E-liquids contain just nicotine, water, and two natural agents used to create denser liquid vapour. Compared to cigarettes, vape juices are a simple, clean solution.

There’s also a much reduced risk of any harm to others from secondhand inhalation, as well as no unpleasant lingering smells in the home and on your clothes. So what are you waiting for? Take charge of your health and lifestyle today and trade smoking in for vaping.