Thousands of Australians are using the coronavirus shutdown to give up smoking.
Between January and May this year, the My Quitbuddy app was downloaded more than 24,000 times—a 310 percent increase over the same time last year.
“These figures are very encouraging, and I congratulate those who have taken the first step,” said Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, adding that there is growing evidence that smokers are more likely to develop a severe case of Covid-19 if they contract the virus.
The Australian government aims to reduce smoking to less than 10 percent by 2025 through its 10-year National Preventive Health Strategy and has committed $31.6 million over four years to reduce smoking prevalence.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Israel have observed increased interest in quitting smoking during the pandemic.
A new study by the Israel Cancer Association found that 51 percent of Israelis between the ages of 18 and 24 who smoke considered quitting during the coronavirus crisis. Additionally, almost half (49.2 percent) reported smoking less.
However, the study also found that nearly a third of Arab Israelis said someone in their family began smoking during the coronavirus. Only 8 percent of Jewish respondents reported that someone started smoking.