Huge numbers of smokers are quitting due to COVID-19, survey suggests

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More than one million smokers in the UK have kicked the habit since the outbreak of COVID-19, a new poll suggests.

A poll conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed that 7.6 per cent of participants quit between April and June – representing the biggest dip in cigarette use for a decade.

More than 40 per cent of respondents said they had stubbed out due to the pandemic – with smokers thought to be at greater risk of more severe symptoms if they catch the virus.

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According to the survey of 10,000 people, quitting rates have been higher in younger people.

17 per cent of 17-29 year-olds have stopped smoking during the pandemic, compared to 5 per cent of over 50s.

ASH will be launching a stop-smoking campaign in an attempt to continue bringing down smoking rates across the UK – with the country home to seven million smokers in 2019.

The past decade has seen a raft of new legislature which has helped to curb cigarette use across the country.

Tobacco vending machines were banned 2011, whilst tobacco displays were stopped in shops during 2015.

Cigarette packaging has since been standardised with all branding removed, and a ban on menthol flavours came into force earlier this year.

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The government is also considering additional measures to restrict smoking outside pubs, bars and restaurants – an issue that is continuing to divide Mancunians.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said that he is aiming to make Britain smoke-free within a decade.


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