Smoking among young people rose by quarter in first lockdown

That’s according to new data from Cancer Research UK

The number of young adults who smoke in England rose by a quarter in the first lockdown – but more people also successfully kicked the habit, new research has suggested.

Hundreds of thousands more smoked compared to before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the study funded by Cancer Research UK showed.

There was a 25% increase in 18 to 34-year-olds who smoke, which translated into a rise of more than 652,000 young adults, the charity said.

Researchers, from University College London and the University of Sheffield, said there was an increased prevalence of high-risk drinking among all groups (40%), but the rise was greater among women (55%) and people from less advantaged backgrounds (64%).

On a more positive note, the researchers also found there were increases in the number of smokers quitting successfully.

There was a 99% rise in people across all groups successfully quitting during lockdown compared with pre-pandemic, they said.

The paper, published in the journal Addiction, said: “In conclusion, the first Covid-19 lockdown in England in March–July 2020 was associated with increased smoking prevalence among younger adults and an increased prevalence of high-risk drinking among all socio-demographic groups.

Published: by Radio NewsHub